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Congresswoman Robin Kelly

Representing the 2nd District of Illinois

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Action for Dental Health Act Advances to President Trump’s Desk

Nov 29, 2018
Press Release
Legislation increases access to oral and dental health services for American communities

Washington, DC – Last night, the U.S. House passed the bipartisan Action for Dental Health Act.

This bipartisan legislation, introduced by Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL) and Congressman Mike Simpson, DMD (R-ID), to provide essential oral and dental health services to underserved communities. The Action for Dental Health Act targets federal funding to provide vulnerable populations, especially children, seniors and those living in rural and urban communities with dental care.

The legislation originally passed the U.S. House in February with ninety percent of Members voting in favor of the legislation. A slightly amended version was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and passed in October 2018. With today’s vote, the legislation advances to the President’s desk for his signature.

“This bipartisan bill means that more families will have access to oral and dental healthcare. This increased access to care means that patients will receive early detection and intervention resulting in better outcomes, reduced costs and improved health,” said Congresswoman Kelly, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust. “I’d especially like to thank Congressman Mike Simpson for his steadfast leadership, expertise and partnership.”

“With today’s passage of Action for Dental Health, we are sending a message that oral health is a priority for Congress,” Congressman Simpson said. “I would like to thank Congresswoman Kelly for her work on this legislation and I am excited to see this bill move to the President’s desk. Ultimately, the real winners are patients who need improved access to resources to enhance early diagnosis, intervention and preventive treatments which can stop the progress of oral diseases.”

The Action for Dental Health Act won the endorsement of the American Dental Association, the National Dental Association, the American Dental Education Association, Academy of General Dentistry, Oral Health America, and many other organizations. During the House subcommittee hearing on the measure, Chicago dentist Dr. Cheryl Watson-Lowry testified on the importance of the bill.

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