White House framework eliminates dental benefit proposal from spending bill

The White House released a framework Oct. 28 on President Joe Biden's Build Back Better spending package that removes a proposal to create a dental benefit under Medicare Part B.

The ADA has urged lawmakers for months not to include a Medicare dental benefit in the legislation package because the Association believes the proposed expansion would not benefit those low-income seniors who need dental care the most.

The ADA sent an Issues Alert email Oct. 29 to dentists with the news that the framework did not contain language creating a dental benefit.

“After intense ADA lobbying for a targeted benefit and strong grassroots efforts, a legislative outline of the ‘Build Back Better’ package was released by the White House and House/Senate Leadership,” the ADA wrote. “The package does not include a provision for a Medicare dental benefit at this time.”

The ADA had proposed an alternative approach to expand access for seniors that adheres to the ADA’s policy, which supports the oral health care of those 65 years old and older by including a range of services necessary to achieve and maintain oral health for beneficiaries with incomes up to 300% of the federal poverty level.

As Congress continues to negotiate the legislation package, the ADA told dentists the Association “will continue to lobby against the inclusion of a Medicare Part B dental benefit and for ADA policy that seeks to provide oral health care for poor and low-income seniors.”

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