ADA urges dentists to ask Congress to oppose Medicare Part B dental benefit proposal


Washington — The ADA is calling on dentists nationwide to contact their members of Congress to oppose a legislative proposal that would put dental care in Medicare Part B.

The ADA has 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.

The congressional proposal is currently being considered by the House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees and includes language to expand Medicare Part B to include dental, vision and hearing benefits. The first committee begins markup on the issue at 10 a.m. on Sept. 10 so dentists should weigh in as soon as possible.

“If you don’t make your voice heard now, Congress will make this decision for you, your practice and your patients,” the Association said in a  Sept. 8 grassroots alert to dentists.

“Write your congressional representative and tell them that you oppose the current legislative proposal being considered by the House committees and urge them to consider alternative approaches that would not only reflect dentistry’s unique delivery of care, but would actually provide oral health care to seniors who need it most,” the alert concluded.

In an email to member dentists, ADA President Daniel J. Klemmedson reminded them of the power of advocacy.

“You CAN make a difference,” he wrote. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, over 160,000 dentists wrote to Congress, and this helped ensure that Congress passed laws that supported dentistry. We need you to take action now by contacting your members of Congress.”

The ADA is calling this an urgent issue and is encouraging dentists to visit to directly contact their members of Congress. All dentists, including those who have written to Congress on this issue in the past, should do so. The Medicare dental proposal is being considered right now by House committees.

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