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Church Health Dr. Ken Antonoff

Dr. Ken Antonoff talks to a patient at Church Health Services Thursday. The Beaver Dam clinic offers health care including dental care on a sliding scale and has been able to expand its dental care services for children.

Gov. Tony Evers says he plans to propose spending more than $43 million over the next two years to expand access to dental care in Wisconsin, particularly in underserved rural areas.

The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram reported Monday that more than $16 million is targeted to increase reimbursement rates for dental providers who see patients on Medicaid.

The governor's proposal also includes creating a "dental therapist licensure," allowing for a mid-level dental provider to address a shortage of providers across Wisconsin.

More than 200 dentists are estimated to be needed in Wisconsin for high shortage areas.

Evers also wants to allocate $60,000 each of the next two years to pay for loan repayments of dentists who opt to serve rural areas. He also wants to spend nearly $1.3 million more on grants for dental clinics that serve low-income patients.

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