The U.S. House of Representatives passed a health care bill Dec. 11 that extends programs the ADA said are integral to bolstering the dental and medical workforce and increasing access to health care.
The Lower Costs, More Transparency Act passed in a vote of 320-71. The ADA recently sent a letter to Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., and Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-NY, expressing support for the bipartisan bill prior to its passage, pointing specifically to the importance of several programs included in the bill.
The ADA noted that the bill’s extensions of the Community Health Center Fund, the National Health Service Corps and the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program are critical to bolstering the dental and medical workforce and increasing access to health care.
Community Health Centers play an important part in providing oral health care in underserved communities and populations, the ADA said, while increasing National Health Service Corps scholarship and loan repayment opportunities will address health workforce distribution struggles and local shortages.
Additionally, extending and expanding the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program will “provide increased stability to teaching health centers and strengthen continuity of care in underserved communities.”
The bill, which was led by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wa., and Frank Pallone, D-NJ, also aims to increase price transparency and reduce costs throughout the health care system. The ADA previously sent a letter in support of the bill after its introduction on Sept. 8.
In its most recent letter, the Association thanked House leadership for working on health workforce issues and bringing the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act to the floor.
“America’s dentists thank you again for your leadership on health care workforce issues,” the ADA said. “Advancing H.R. 5378 is a crucial step towards improving the health workforce pipeline so that all Americans have better access to health care, including dental care.”