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Senator Bernie Sanders Introduces Dental Care Crisis Legislation

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The U.S. Senator from Vermont has introduced new legislation to address expanding dental care to underserved communities across the nation.

Senator Bernie Sanders Introduces Dental Care Crisis Legislation. Image credit: © Simon - stock.adobe.com

Senator Bernie Sanders Introduces Dental Care Crisis Legislation. Image credit: © Simon - stock.adobe.com

Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont has introduced a new bill called The Comprehensive Dental Care Reform Act of 2024 with the aim to provide robust dental care for many communities in the U.S., according to a press release from the office of Senator Sanders. These communities include seniors, veterans, and low-income individuals/households.

Senator Sanders, who is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) introduced this bill on Friday, May 17, 2024. It proposes an increased number of clinicians to address the growing dental needs of the U.S.’s population, per the press release. Also, it proposes expanding access to dental care services by branching out into community health centers, schools, nursing homes, and mobile units. Finally, the bill proposes an ‘essential’ tag on all dental care under the Affordable Care Act, as well as address insufficient reimbursement rates under Medicaid.

“Dental care in America is way too expensive,” Senator Sanders expressed. “Far too many Americans, especially in rural areas, do not have access to a dentist, which forces them to either travel long distances or go without the care they need. Very few dentists accept Medicaid, preventing the most vulnerable people in America from getting the dental procedures they need.”

Senator Sanders also emphasized the growing need for dental care across the population, “Dental care is health care and health care must be considered a human right, not a privilege.”

Dental leaders across the United States gathered before the HELP Committee to make the case for expanded access to dental care. Read our coverage of their comments here.

This bill is cosponsored by Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, and is endorsed by Families USA, CareQuest Institute for Oral Health, and Community Catalyst. To learn more about the bill, the HELP Committee, or to read the legislation, visit here.

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