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house Bill H.R. 2422

Should Federal Funding for Dental Health Programs be Increased?

Argument in favor

Proper dental care is important for people’s health, social well-being, and job prospects. Approximately 15 percent of the U.S. population is underserved by existing dental systems, and others aren’t able to access dental care due to poverty.

Troy's Opinion
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11/28/2018
If they really wanted to cut down on healthcare cost they would cover dental. Your mouth is the entry point for all bacteria and nutrients provided to the body. Too many people have poor dental knowledge and practice which leads to infection without being sick. Imagine if you were sick and had an infection. Education on preventative healthcare should be more of a priority.
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Nathan's Opinion
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02/26/2018
Lack of dental coverage is a serious problem for low income, disabled adults.
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SneakyPete's Opinion
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11/28/2018
H.R. 2422 AKA the Action for Dental Health Act of 2018 I’d strongly recommend and support the passage of House H.R. H.R. 2422 bill AKA - the Action for Dental Health Act of 2018 — which would authorize $18 million in each of the fiscal years 2018-2022 for the oral health promotion and disease prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It’d establish a new “Action for Dental Health Program” to provide grants for oral health education, dental disease prevention, and reducing barriers to dental services. State or local dental associations, state oral health programs, dental education programs, and community organizations that help facilitate dental services for underserved populations would be eligible for these grants. Proper dental care is important for people’s health, social well-being, and job prospects. Approximately 15 percent of the U.S. population is underserved by existing dental systems, and others aren’t able to access dental care due to poverty. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻🏥👍🏻👨‍⚕️👍🏻. 11*28*18.....
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Argument opposed

There are already many public and private efforts to provide dental care to the poor. For those in poverty, Medicaid covers dental services for people 21 and up, and CHIP helps children up to age 19 who don’t have health insurance.

JTJ's Opinion
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11/28/2018
No, get the government out of healthcare. We need to drastically cut the budget, not add new feel good programs that will benefit nothing.
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Doug's Opinion
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11/29/2018
This measures doesn’t seem to fund any actual dental care. I think we are passed the point of needing awareness campaigns to educate people on the benefits of good oral hygiene. It also cites barriers to dental care, but doesn’t seem to define them.
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Vanessa's Opinion
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11/29/2018
Until the borders are closed to illegal immigration and illegal immigrants are deported, Congress should not be in the business of passing welfare programs. They seem to help illegal immigrants more than they help US citizens.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate Passed October 11th, 2018
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
  • The house Passed February 27th, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 387 Yea / 13 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Health
    IntroducedMay 15th, 2017

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What is House Bill H.R. 2422?

This bill — the Action for Dental Health Act of 2018 — would authorize $18 million in each of the fiscal years 2018-2022 for the oral health promotion and disease prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It’d establish a new “Action for Dental Health Program” to provide grants for oral health education, dental disease prevention, and reducing barriers to dental services. State or local dental associations, state oral health programs, dental education programs, and community organizations that help facilitate dental services for underserved populations would be eligible for these grants.

The bill would also expand initiatives to enhance oral health education and community-wide dental disease prevention, authorizing $13.9 million in each of the fiscal years 2018-2022 for the Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) Grants to States to Support Oral Health Workforce Activities, which aim to increase access to dental care in underserved communities. These HRSA grants would expand programs providing oral health services in areas that are underserved by dental health professions through initiatives such as:

  • Establishing dental homes, which the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has defined as comprehensive oral healthcare, for children and adults;

  • Establishing initiatives to reduce the use of emergency departments for dental services; and

  • Providing dental care to nursing home residents

Impact

Dental care patients; dentists; dental care organizations; CDC; and HRSA

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2422

$133.00 Million
The CBO estimates that implementing this bill would cost $133 million over the 2018-2022 period, assuming appropriation of the amounts specified in the bill.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Robin Kelley (D-IL) introduced this bill to strengthen the impact of existing federal funding to organizations providing oral health care to underserved populations, especially seniors, children, and those in rural and urban communities:

“Unfortunately, too many Americans lack access to oral health care because of cost or a lack of dentists in their area. This bill starts to change that by making oral health care more accessible. In a time of a deeply divided Congress, I’m glad that Congressman Simpson and I could put forward a bipartisan bill that would win the support of hundreds of our colleagues.”

Original cosponsor Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), who is a dentist by training, adds that this bill improves resource utilization for a range of important oral health initiatives:

“I am thrilled with the overwhelming bipartisan support for the Action for Dental Health Act. With House passage today, we are advancing a solution to better utilize resources to improve early diagnosis, intervention and preventive treatments which can stop the progress of oral diseases."

The American Dental Association (ADA), which was heavily involved in the drafting of this legislation, is championing this bill as part of its nationwide community-based campaign to end America’s dental health crisis. In testimony to the House Subcommittee on Health, the ADA stated that this bill has the potential to change Americans’ lives through better dental health:

“Action for Dental Health (ADH) initiatives affect or have the potential to positively affect every patient in [a] practice...The bill will allow organizations to qualify for oral health grants to support activities that improve oral health education and dental disease prevention and develop and expand outreach programs that facilitate establishing dental homes for children and adults, including the elderly, blind and disabled. The ADH bill supports oral health initiatives that have the greatest impact on dental access disparities.”

Mary Otto, author of Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America, disagrees with the premise that dentists are the only ones who can play a role in providing better oral health for Americans. She explores “efforts to expand the use of auxiliary dental professionals in neglected areas of the country, sending dental hygienists or ‘dental health aide therapists’ to do tooth cleanings and other routine sorts of dental work,” arguing that these supplements to expensive dentists are needed to create a fully fleshed out dental care system. Otto also notes that there are extensive attempts to expand dental service access for those using Medicaid.

However, the New Republic’s Adam Gaffney points out, “a system in which the well-off see dentists and the poor see dental professionals with lower levels of training would be fundamentally inequitable.” And, Gaffney contends, no amount of preventative care would eliminate the need for dental care and dentists — making some form of universal dental coverage necessary.

This bill passed the House unanimously with 83 cosponsors, including 70 Democrats and 13 Republicans. It then passed the Senate unanimously with an amendment from Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The two versions of the bill now need reconciliation. This bill has the support of a range of dental professional associations. In addition to the ADA, the American Association of Orthodontists, American Dental Education Association, and others support this bill.


Of NoteAmericans spend over $113 billion a year on dental care costs, but over 47 million people, or about 15 percent of the U.S. population, live in areas with limited access to dental care, and others forego dental care due to poverty or lack of health insurance. Included in this demographic are members of some of the most vulnerable populations: children and seniors. In children, tooth decay is the most common chronic ailment in that population — and poor children without dental care at most at risk, with potential consequences ranging from toothache to abscesses, which can lead to death in extreme cases.

In all people, poor dental care and lack of access to professional dentistry services can lead to cardiovascular disease, dementia, respiratory infections, and diabetic complications. In addition to these health consequences, poor oral health can become a social burden that leads to diminished quality of life due to disrupted ability to eat and communicate with others.

Poor oral care can also affect individuals’ employability. Many studies have shown that many employers make instant judgments based on potential employees’ appearances, including that of their smiles and teeth.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / PIKSEL)

AKA

Action for Dental Health Act of 2018

Official Title

To amend the Public Health Service Act to improve essential oral health care for low-income and other underserved individuals by breaking down barriers to care, and for other purposes.

    If they really wanted to cut down on healthcare cost they would cover dental. Your mouth is the entry point for all bacteria and nutrients provided to the body. Too many people have poor dental knowledge and practice which leads to infection without being sick. Imagine if you were sick and had an infection. Education on preventative healthcare should be more of a priority.
    Like (18)
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    No, get the government out of healthcare. We need to drastically cut the budget, not add new feel good programs that will benefit nothing.
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    Lack of dental coverage is a serious problem for low income, disabled adults.
    Like (9)
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    Healthy teeth and gums are essential to good health. Unhealthy gums send poisons to the rest of our body. We must have better dental health. Prevention is key!
    Like (5)
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    H.R. 2422 AKA the Action for Dental Health Act of 2018 I’d strongly recommend and support the passage of House H.R. H.R. 2422 bill AKA - the Action for Dental Health Act of 2018 — which would authorize $18 million in each of the fiscal years 2018-2022 for the oral health promotion and disease prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It’d establish a new “Action for Dental Health Program” to provide grants for oral health education, dental disease prevention, and reducing barriers to dental services. State or local dental associations, state oral health programs, dental education programs, and community organizations that help facilitate dental services for underserved populations would be eligible for these grants. Proper dental care is important for people’s health, social well-being, and job prospects. Approximately 15 percent of the U.S. population is underserved by existing dental systems, and others aren’t able to access dental care due to poverty. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻🏥👍🏻👨‍⚕️👍🏻. 11*28*18.....
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    Yes, and both mental health services and dentistry need to be included. Millions of American live in pain every day because of dental cavities. Likewise, ongoing dental infections are a gateway for far more serious medical conditions.
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    Good dental care is essential, so it should be federally funded for everyone.
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    This needs to be enacted. Without dental health, a person can be impacted daily for the rest of their lives and their overall health suffer due to lack of dental care.
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    FREE MEDICAL CARE FOR ALL NOT JUST POLITICIANS ! DO IT WITHOUT RAISING TAXES BUT BY ENFORCING FULL TAXATION FOR CORPORATIONS AND THE RICH !
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    Yes. We should all have dental health insurance coverage.
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    Until the borders are closed to illegal immigration and illegal immigrants are deported, Congress should not be in the business of passing welfare programs. They seem to help illegal immigrants more than they help US citizens.
    Like (2)
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    Many populations are incredibly underserved with dental care. Dental health can help keep Americans more healthy overall, increase quality of life, and also help as a preventative measure for other more serious and expensive medical issues down the road.
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    This measures doesn’t seem to fund any actual dental care. I think we are passed the point of needing awareness campaigns to educate people on the benefits of good oral hygiene. It also cites barriers to dental care, but doesn’t seem to define them.
    Like (2)
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    Dental hygiene and oral repairs are necessary for overall health and well-being of people...there needs to be federal funds available to cover those on the cusp that can’t get state or local help with their dental work 🦷
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    Dental Health Care should be available for everyone.
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    Seems to me we should be helping the most vulnerable citizens. This does just that.
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    More dental care for all!
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    Of course, is it only health care with insurance is involved?
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    This is not an enumerated power of the federal government. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
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    Teeth are important. Healthy teeth promotes a healthy body. Healthy teeth for all.
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