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Your government “at work”

Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021

* Kaiser Health News

This year, the Illinois Legislature was considering measures to expand oral health treatment in a state where millions live in dental care deserts.

But when the Illinois State Dental Society met virtually with key lawmakers for its annual lobbying day last spring, the proposals to allow dental hygienists to clean the teeth of certain underprivileged patients without a dentist seemed doomed.

State Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, the Senate Republican leader, warned against the bills even if they sounded minor.

“It’s just getting the camel’s nose under the tent,” Syverson said in an audio recording of the meeting obtained by KHN. “We’ll have, before long, hygienists doing the work that, if they wanted to do, they should have gone to dental school for.”

The senator also said he missed “the reception and the dinners that you guys host” and the “nice softball questions that I usually get” from the dental society’s past president, who happens to be his first cousin.

The bills never made it out of committee.

The situation in Illinois is indicative of the types of legislative dynamics that play out when lower-level healthcare providers such as dental hygienists, nurse practitioners and optometrists try to gain greater autonomy and access to patients. And the fate of the Illinois legislation illustrates the power that lobbying groups such as the Illinois dental society have in shaping policies on where health professionals can practice and who keeps the profits.

* Tribune

State gaming regulators voted Wednesday to eliminate casino bids from Calumet City and Lynwood for consideration, with two other applications still in contention.

The Illinois Gaming Board voted 4-0 to not consider bids by Southland Live, which proposed using a portion of the River Oaks shopping center in Calumet City for a casino, and also rejected a bid from the Ho-Chunk Nation to develop land the tribe owns in Lynwood for a gaming destination.

That leaves Homewood/East Hazel Crest and Matteson as the only two contenders.

* Meanwhile

The Illinois Supreme Court ordered the consolidation of lawsuits filed by cannabis dispensary license applicants in an attempt to resolve multiple claims challenging the fairness of the licensing process.

At the request of the Illinois attorney general’s office, the court ordered that several cases be heard together, which could help decide the fate of all 185 new recreational marijuana retail licenses.

The awarding of those licenses have been held up indefinitely by Cook County Judge Moshe Jacobius while he decides a case involving two applicants, WAH Group LLC and HAAAYY LLC vs. Bret Bender, deputy director of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), which awards the licenses.

The Supreme Court Monday ordered that a suit by Magic Sparks LLC, against the IDFPR, be transferred from DuPage County to Cook County. There it would be combined with the WAH case, as well as suits by High Haven Dispensary LLC, Green Equity Ventures 1 and Hempathy LLC, under the heading of High Haven.

* Other governments…

* Suburban police were asked to help Chicago during vaccine reporting stalemate if needed, but Kane, DuPage and Kendall county sheriffs say no

* Calumet City mayor bristles during confrontation over library reopening: “Don’t you ever ask a question like that again,” Jones told me.

* City official should be fired, 2 others punished for coal plant implosion debacle in Little Village, watchdog says

* Internal investigation of police raid on Anjanette Young’shome stymied by mayor’s parallel probe

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - people - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 12:53 pm:

    Syverson can’t be put to pasture soon enough.. isn’t he a casino mogul now anyways?

  2. - Nick Nombre - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 1:08 pm:

    The slippery slope argument - the politician’s friend since 1776.

    Using the law to eliminate competition for “professional” occupations is one of the ways those professionals ensure higher earnings at the expense of everyone else.

  3. - OneMan - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 1:09 pm:

    Yes, getting anyone’s scope of practice expanded in any way in Illinois is a real challenge. The medical societies are always looking out for the economic interests of their members (understandably).

    Suffice to say, lots of practitioner types have narrower scopes of practice in Illinois they they do in other states.

  4. - twowaystreet - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 1:11 pm:

    The issue with dental hygienist is across every industry that requires a state license. Licensing is done with little safety rhyme or reason. There’s no public safety standards that need to be met in order to require a license and in turn its lobbying power that dictates who can do what under certain licensing requirements.

    And often the associations profit off of providing classes and continuing education for people to receive and maintain certifications.

    IDPR doesn’t even have the resources to enforce licensing requirements and rely heavily on associations or individuals to police others in the industry.

  5. - WestBurbs - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 1:12 pm:

    I have no dog in the fight — but the idea that dental hygienists should be the only dental professional conducting an exam is not a good idea. Dentists diagnose lots of issues - from decay, to periodontal disease, to oral cancers, to TMJ, etc. No matter how good the hygenist, a two year degree just isn’t the same training/education as a eight year degree. This is not a slam on hygienists - they are hugely valuable - but they aren’t dentists.

  6. - Sonny - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 1:16 pm:

    They could start with state employees. Delta Dental is terrible.

  7. - JoanP - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 1:18 pm:

    = “My goal is to make sure we have a library that’s working for the kids, that’s not closed on Saturdays and Sundays,” =

    So instead you close it down completely. Brilliant.

  8. - Nick Nombre - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 1:19 pm:

    The bill would not have allowed hygienists to do exams. It would have simply let them do the things they were trained to do without the requirement that they work under a dentist who would perform an exam.

  9. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 1:24 pm:

    I listened to Joe Ferguson’s interview with Alex Nitkin. After going on and on with rhetoric about the gang database, Anjanette Young, and the consent decree, he says we’re at an inflection point because of public pensions. Really? Don’t think so Joe?

  10. - Illdoc - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 1:28 pm:

    Hygienists are a valued part of the oral health care team. But , as noted the 2times a year exam is not only looking at dental disease. There are frequently other issues ( oral cancer was mentioned ) that are discovered. Panoramic radiographs can show carotid plaques. The list goes on.

  11. - Rasselas - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 1:29 pm:

    A comprehensive dental exam is better than a simple cleaning by a hygienist, but a cleaning is better than no exam. If the state isn’t going to put in the resources to get everyone access to comprehensive care, it’s pretty callous to deny them access to something.

  12. - 10th Ward - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 1:52 pm:

    @OneMan– agree! Your comments are in focus

  13. - Amalia - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 2:01 pm:

    so when I get my teeth cleaned and the dentist does not take a look, what, it’s a violation? because my hygienist can recognize issues and refer me to the dentist before my scheduled checkup. cleaning teeth can literally prevent infection. put the bill back on.

  14. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 2:42 pm:

  15. - Lake Villa Township - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 2:58 pm:

    All Americans should have access to safe and affordable dental care whenever they need it, healthy teeth are needed to eat and thus provide oneself sustenance.

  16. - JuMP - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 3:29 pm:

    As a former dental hygienist, I know all too well the power of the ISDS lobby. Shame on Syverson arguing for them. The dental society was all to happy to get approval of dental assistants getting the right to perform expanded duties to coronal polish, and then the dentists hire assistants to do this and charge it out as a prohylaxis[dental cleaning] which it is not. The preventive side of practice is a huge money maker for the dentists and again looking to oppress and deny educated professionals as well the general public of beneficial services. The “camel’s nose” is the fear tactic of hygienists getting independent practices; diminishing the financial revenues of dentists!

  17. - Original Rambler - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 4:01 pm:

    One can only assume that the dentists have some other proposals for getting these people the minimum of dental care that a cleaning provides.

  18. - sal-says - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 4:53 pm:

    == State Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, the Senate Republican leader ==

    No surprise from Davie.

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