Senate Approves Congresswoman Kelly’s Action for Dental Health Act
Matteson, IL – Today, the U.S. Senate passed the Action for Dental Health Act, introduced by Congresswoman Robin Kelly.
This bipartisan legislation would target existing federal dollars to organizations that provide oral health service to underserved communities, especially children, seniors and people living in rural and urban communities. Without new funding, this legislation will strengthen the impact of existing resources and services.
“I’m so pleased that the Senate has passed this bipartisan bill that will improve access to oral and dental health to families in Illinois and around the country,” said Congresswoman Robin Kelly, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust. “At a time of deep division in Congress, I’m proud that I was able to work across the aisle and across the Capitol to get this important measure passed. I’d especially like to thank Congressman Mike Simpson (R-ID) for his steadfast leadership, expertise and partnership.”
The legislation is particularly focused on delivering early intervention and preventive oral health services to vulnerable communities. The goal is to reduce the number of oral health emergency room visits which are often costly, not comprehensive and only occur at late stages after causing other negative health effects.
Congresswoman Kelly has introduced the Action for Dental Health Act since the 113th Congress. The bipartisan companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Cory Brooker (D-NJ) as S. 3016.
The Action for Dental Health Act won the endorsement of the American Dental Association, the National Dental Association, the American Dental Education Association 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.
“The Action for Dental Health Act is a perfect example of how Congress should work. We developed the idea, worked across the aisle on the legislative text, introduced it, advanced it through the committee process, organized House and Senate votes and sent the legislation to the President,” added Congresswoman Robin Kelly. “It’s a process that’s worked for generations; it’s time to get back to it.”