ADA asks Congress for additional resources for VA Dentistry

Letter also discusses need to restore Assistant Under Secretary’s authority

The American Dental Association urged Congress to provide additional funding and resources to the Department of Veterans Affairs Dentistry to meet the dental care needs of all eligible veterans in a March 28 letter.

ADA President George R. Shepley, D.D.S., and Executive Director Raymond A. Cohlmia, D.D.S., requested that Congress provide $1.25 billion in funding for VA Dentistry — $50 million above the fiscal year 2023 enacted level — noting that “because funding and resources for VA Dentistry has not kept up with the increase in veterans eligible for VA dental benefits, real access to care is threatened by VA Dentistry’s lack of funding and resources.”

Drs. Shepley and Cohlmia also asked Congress to set aside dedicated funding for VA Dentistry so that the money appropriated for VA Dentistry is not used elsewhere in the VA.

Additionally, the letter requests that Congress provide “guidance to the VA in report language that the Assistant Under Secretary for Health for Dentistry be at the same executive level as other Assistant Under Secretaries at the VA and reports directly to the Under Secretary.” This will help ensure the Assistant Under Secretary for Health for Dentistry “has the authority and resources to provide outstanding care for veterans.”

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