CareQuest Institute Commends Congressional Legislation to Provide Oral Health Care Benefit in Medicare

Statement from President and CEO, Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan: “Dental care is essential health care . . . If we value the lives of seniors and people with disabilities, we must strengthen Medicare coverage to include dental benefits.”

Boston, MA, July 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Chair of the House Ways & Means Health Subcommittee, unveiled legislation that would strengthen the Medicare program by including oral health coverage. An additional 75 members of Congress support the legislation, which builds upon growing momentum to include access to comprehensive oral health care for all Medicare beneficiaries. In his statement, Congressman Doggett specifically calls for treating oral health care the same as existing Medicare-covered benefits.

CareQuest Institute for Oral Health CEO and President Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan issued the following statement, applauding Congressman Doggett and his 75 colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives for their support of Medicare dental benefits.

“Seniors and people with disabilities served by the Medicare program don’t have access to necessary dental coverage. This leaves millions of people without the care they need to manage chronic illness and maintain quality of life as they age. The Medicare Dental, Vision, and Hearing Benefit Act unveiled this week adds to the chorus of support for strengthening the Medicare program by providing comprehensive oral health benefits to more than 60 million seniors and people with disabilities.

Congressman Doggett is right: dental care is essential health care with direct connections to systemic health, chronic illness, and mental health diseases. If we value the lives and the dignity of seniors and people with disabilities, there is no question that we must strengthen Medicare coverage to include dental benefits.

This country continues to grapple with an oral health crisis, and it has only been exacerbated by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. To leave our seniors without access to essential oral health care is to abandon their overall health and wellness at the very time they need it most.”

This latest action by members of the House, championed by advocates and community-based organizations throughout the country, builds on efforts from several key Senators to include Medicare dental coverage in a human infrastructure package this year.


About CareQuest Institute for Oral Health 

CareQuest Institute for Oral Health is a national nonprofit championing a more equitable future where every person can reach their full potential through excellent health. We do this through our work in grantmaking, research, health improvement programs, policy and advocacy, and education as well as our leadership in dental benefits, care delivery, and innovation advancements. We collaborate with thought leaders, health care providers, patients, and local, state, and federal stakeholders to accelerate oral health care transformation and create a system designed for everyone. To learn more, visit carequest.org.

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