ADEA Issue Update: Action for Dental Health Act Heads to the Senate
The Action for Dental Health Act, H.R. 2422, sponsored by Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL), passed the House of Representatives on Feb. 26. This bill secures $18 million each year through 2022 to fund oral health promotion and disease awareness programs from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Action for Dental Health enables the CDC to contract funding or fund grants for medical equipment, operational costs, outreach programs and more. It can also be used to cover transportation costs to dental appointments.
This bill received bipartisan support with two dentists as cosponsors—Rep. Michael Simpson, D.M.D. (R-ID) and Rep. Paul Gosar, D.D.S. (R-AZ)—as well as endorsements from ADEA and the American Dental Association. Upon enactment, the bill would amend the Public Health Service Act to expand essential oral health care services for low-income and other underserved individuals in urban and rural areas.
The bill would provide additional funding to significantly improve oral health across the nation by improving access to dental care for underserved and at-risk populations, including funding voluntary dental programs that provide care at little to no cost.
ADEA will continue to work with its partners in the dental community as this bill moves from the House to the Senate.