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Advocates emphasize access as election nears

It's not election year quite yet, but it is already election season, and that means access to dental benefits is back on the radar for lawmakers and dental benefit advocacy groups. The Minneapolis-based Minnesota Dental Association (MDA) notes, for example, that children received a record of nearly $1.7 million in free dental care during a two-day program in February at hundreds of dental offices throughout the state. "Thousands of children were brought into dental offices for treatment during Give Kids a Smile," the organization says in a statement. The group's five-year total: about 30,000 kids treated for free.