Sen. Sanders seeks expansion of VA dental benefits

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) wants to expand dental and health services in the Veterans Affairs (VA) health system in order to bring more veterans into the system, according to a story in the Valley News.

Sanders is proposing a pilot project that would cover veterans' dental benefits, even if those dental issues do not relate directly to their military experience, he told the New Hampshire newspaper. At present, veterans with oral health problems are not eligible for treatment at a VA location unless their problems stem from their time in the military.

Sanders wants to extend benefits so these veterans are eligible for care, no matter when these oral health issues developed.

"You have a lot veterans out there who do not necessarily have a whole lot of money, who have dental needs but right now they can't get those needs taken care of," Sanders said.

Less than half of America's 6.5 million veterans are eligible for dental care, according to the article. A VA omnibus bill currently in the Senate includes a pilot program to bring coverage to 30,000 more veterans regardless of whether their issues are related to their time in the military.

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