The Children's Dental Health Project's blog
A new voice for health equity at MACPAC
Today we applaud the GAO's appointment of six new commissioners to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), which advises Congress, agencies, and states on issues affecting these critical benefit programs. We especially celebrate the appointment of Gustavo Cruz, DMD, MPH, a dentist and health policy expert who serves as senior advisor to New York's Health Equity Initiative and associate professor at the NYU College of Dentistry. Dr. Cruz's professional achievements and personal experience in expanding care to underserved communities will continue to bring an essential perspective on oral health issues to policymakers.
I say "continue" because this month ends the MACPAC term of Burton Edelstein, DDS, MPH, who was in the first "class" of Commission appointees. Commenting on Dr. Cruz's appointment, Dr. Edelstein said:
"Dr. Cruz has first-hand experience dealing with shortcomings in adult Medicaid coverage for oral health services and is deeply knowledgeable about public policy. His experience working in the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow, his expertise gained as an academic and care provider, and his deep commitment to equity will serve him and the Commission well as he deals with the complex policy issues that MACPAC confronts."
"I am humbled by this opportunity," Dr. Cruz told me. "The issues before MACPAC impact the lives of many of our most vulnerable populations. By working towards improved access to health care services and assuring the quality and timeliness of those services, MACPAC has the opportunity to improve the lives of Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries."
MACPAC was created as an outgrowth of the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization of 2009 and the Affordable Care Act. It's one more example of how CHIP brings value to all of us.
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