'Huge disappointment': Dental benefit expansion cut from federal spending bill

The CareQuest Institute for Oral Health is disappointed that the most recent version of Congress' proposed reconciliation package does not include expanded dental benefits under Medicare, the oral health nonprofit said Oct. 28.

"Today’s announcement is a huge disappointment to all those who care so deeply about creating a more equitable health system," said Myechia Minter-Jordan, MD, president and CEO of the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health. "By failing to include a Medicare dental benefit, Congress is leaving in place one of the greatest drivers of disparities in our health system and leaving millions of older Americans and people with disabilities without access to essential care."

Congressional Democrats originally proposed to expand dental, vision and hearing benefits under Medicare in its $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, but a new framework would only expand hearing benefits.

The CareQuest Institute said the failure to include dental benefits in the proposal leaves currently underserved populations vulnerable to existing disparities in healthcare.

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