Chairwoman Julia Brownley of the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health introduced H.R. 914, the Dental Care for Veterans Act, legislation that would phase in eligibility for all veterans enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for health care to receive dental care as a part of its medical benefits package.
This bill would require the VA Secretary to furnish dental care in the same manner as any other medical service, and defines a four-year implementation plan beginning with veterans in priority groups one and two—for veterans with service-connected disabilities rated at 30% or more—in year one.
Dental care has been proven to be an important part of overall health care. Many private employers and state Medicaid programs provide it as part of a comprehensive health care package. Most clinicians agree there are strong associations between significant dental issues and other adverse systemic health outcomes. Unfortunately gaps in dental coverage often affect people with lower incomes and complex health needs the most.
DAV Resolution No. 185 calls for the VA to comprehensive dental care services to all service-connected disabled veterans enrolled for care. Therefore, DAV strongly supports this legislation.