Lawmakers Push For Dental Care For Children In Low-Income Families

Armen Hareyan's picture

Members of Congress this month will continue to push legislation (HR 2371)that would strengthen dental care for children in low-income families,while Maryland officials are preparing to receive recommendations onWednesday regarding a major overhaul of the state's Medicaid dentalprogram, the Washington Post reports (Otto, Washington Post, 9/10). The bill in Congress was drafted by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) in response to a May 2 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing that "identified major failures in access to dental services for children on Medicaid," he said.

Thelegislation, called Deamonte's Law, is named after Deamonte Driver, a12-year-old Maryland boy who died after a tooth infection spread to hisbrain because he lacked access to dental care (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report,6/19). Members of Maryland's Democratic congressional delegation saythey plan to advocate for guaranteed dental benefits to be included inthe reauthorization of SCHIP, which expires on Sept. 30 (Washington Post, 9/10).

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