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Congress Shows Progress in Expanding Oral Health Care for Women and Children


Regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, there are some issues that take precedence. Medical benefits for pregnant women and children are one such issue.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee recommended expanding risk-based oral care for pregnant women and young children, strengthening oral health outcome measures, and gathering more data on CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) and ACA (Affordable Care Act) marketplace enrollment for pediatric dental benefits.

Specifically, the Committee urged the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to support clinical and public health interventions that target pregnant women and young children at highest risk for dental caries. “These interventions result in significant cost-savings to State Medicaid programs,” the Committee advised. 

In addition, Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland proposed an amendment to direct funds in a budget-neutral manner “to improve oral health care for pregnant women and children under Medicaid.” Although it’s non-binding, the unanimous vote in favor of this amendment sent a message that the oral health of pregnant women matters.

For more resources and information on access to dental care for pregnant women, visit the Children’s Dental Health Project (CDHP) website here

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