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Health Care Reform

Recent News

The ADA has put together a report (PDF) (updated August 2013) showing how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will affect dentists as health care providers, small employers and health care consumers.

At Issue

For too long, the dire unmet oral health needs of a growing number of Americans unable to access dental care have been ignored due to their economic status, geographic location or a myriad of other barriers to care. Medicaid promises "coverage" to millions of our neediest citizens—mostly children—while inadequate funding betrays that promise.

Tens of thousands of dentists provide free care to hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged people each year through volunteer programs such as Give Kids A Smile, Donated Dental Services and Missions of Mercy. According to one survey, the value of this donated care amounted to $1.6 billion in a single year. However, no matter how much free care dentists give, volunteerism alone won't solve the problem because charity is not a health care system.

The ADA believes that a relatively small government investment in three areas can make a significant improvement in the oral health of Americans:

  1. Mend the tattered Medicaid safety net by improving the dental Medicaid program.
  2. Adequately fund proven oral disease prevention and wellness programs.
  3. Rebuild the dental public health infrastructure, which includes recruiting and retaining dentists who are competent in public health practice.

The American Dental Association urges Members of Congress to adopt the ADA's recommendations in health care reform legislation.

Letters and Testimony

Dr. Findley Reports on Health Care Reform

On July 20, 2009, ADA President Dr. John Findley in an alert to the membership reported on the status of the Association's work on health care reform. You can read this alert at the link below:

  • July 20 eGram to membership
  • August 21 eGram to membership

Contact Us

For additional information, please contact:

  • Thomas Spangler, senior director, Council on Government Affairs/Legislative and Regulatory Policy, Director of Congressional Affairs

Congressional Affairs
1111 14th Street NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
Fax: 202.898.2437
Email: govtpol@ada.org