CDHP Commends Senator Baucus for Recognizing the Importance of Oral Health

Early Framework of Health Care Reform Includes Dental Benefits for Children

September 8, 2009 (WASHINGTON, DC)--A draft framework for comprehensive health care reform circulated by Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) makes clear that oral health is a priority for the Senate Finance Committee, which he chairs. A copy of the full framework can be found in the above attached PDF.

The Committee is drafting the last of three pieces of legislation that will eventually be combined to form the health care reform package. The other two bills that were released by the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and the House Tri-Committee (Energy and Commerce, Education and Labor, and Ways and Means) similarly included provisions for children’s oral health.

The framework does not provide specific details on what will be included but it makes clear that children’s dental benefits will be protected in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). It also recognizes the importance of providing children’s dental coverage in the private market.

“While we are still taking time to review Senator Baucus’s framework and awaiting more detailed information, we are very pleased with this early recognition in all three bills that oral health is a critical part of children’s overall health,” said Dr. Burt Edelstein, Founding Chair of CDHP. “We are very heartened by the significant progress but recognize that many challenges still remain, including the need to ensure that all adults also have access to dental coverage.”

 

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children ages 6-12 suffered a toothache in the previous six months.
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