Statement by the DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement on Passage of The Lower Drug Costs Now Act
A statement from Myechia Minter-Jordan, MD, MBA, DentaQuest chief impact officer.
A statement from Myechia Minter-Jordan, MD, MBA, DentaQuest chief impact officer:
This week, older Americans came one giant step closer to getting urgently needed dental coverage through the House of Representatives passage of The Lower Drug Costs Now Act. If passed into law, about half of the $456 billion in savings achieved by lowering drug costs over the next decade would be allocated to expanding Medicare benefits for dental coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office. These savings would also fund new benefits for vision care and hearing services under Medicare. As a next step, we urge the House of Representatives to quickly pass the Medicare Dental Act of 2019 (H.R.4650), which will establish essential dental benefits through Medicare with funding from The Lower Drug Costs Now Act.
Recent research underpins the urgent need for additional dental care coverage. Americans overwhelmingly believe Medicare and Medicaid should cover dental care, and many incorrectly believe the programs already do. In reality, Medicare does not currently cover dental benefits, and state-based Medicaid programs include benefits to varying degrees, often only for children.
American voters have equally expressed significant support to expand the benefit; more than two-thirds of likely voters would like Medicare to cover routine dental care. As Congress considers The Medicare Dental Act of 2019, lawmakers should respect the will of the people by voting to expand Medicare benefits to include dental health coverage.