U.S. House bill introduced to expand veterans' dental care

By DrBicuspid.com staff writers

July 10, 2014 -- U.S. Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA) has introduced a bill (HR 5022) that would ensure veterans have access to enhanced dental care, authorize a pilot program to use community-based clinics for extensive dental work, and provide dental health education that would encourage prevention, according to an imperialvalleynews.com story.

Currently, dental care is only available to 100% disabled veterans, veterans who are former prisoners of war, those who have a service-connected compensable dental disability or condition, and those who have service-connected disabilities rated 100% disabling or are unemployable and paid at the 100% rate due to service-connected conditions.

The measure would authorize restorative dental services for veterans, including fillings, implants, and root canal therapy. It would also enable the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to conduct a pilot program to provide more extensive dental services through VA medical centers, community-based outpatient clinics, federally qualified health centers, and the Indian Health Service, as well as contract care to veterans enrolled in the VA's healthcare system who are currently ineligible for VA dental care.

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