Barajas v. Coye

Barajas v. Coye, filed by the Youth Law Center and the National Center for Youth Law, was a class action to enforce the rights of needy children in California to preventive dental care under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) program. While federally funded, the EPSDT program is implemented by individual states to bring preventive health services to low income children. However, fewer than a third of eligible children actually receive services. Required preventive services include the professional application of dental sealants, an inexpensive and effective way of preventing cavities, that was not included on California’ approved list of services. The state has since promulgated regulations to include dental sealants in its coverage. The case was dismissed in September 1994 but the state will continue to provide information on its coverage to the plaintiffs’ attorneys for the next couple of years.