Proposed legislation would expand dental care and services to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and providers

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Two lawmakers introduced sweeping legislation Thursday that would enable nursing homes and other health centers to offer dental care and insurance coverage to seniors, children and low-income individuals.

The bill, proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), would expand comprehensive dental coverage to all Medicare, Medicaid and Veterans Administration beneficiaries. It also would boost funds used to train dental care professionals and create mobile dental care units.

Traditional Medicare does not reimburse for routine dental care, and up to 10 states do not provide dental benefits to adult Medicaid recipients, according to the Congressmen.

The bill, which has been hailed by seniors groups such as National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, would pay for the expanded services by levying a tax on non-consumer financial trading. That tax would raise $288 billion over the next 10 years, according to the bill.

Click here to read the Senate bill, and here to read Senate report on the U.S. dental crisis. 

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