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Dental Medicaid amendment offered in Senate

Washington—The Association urged support for a Senate dental Medicaid amendment to pending health care reform legislation.

Offered by Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), Finance Committee ranking member, SA 3245 would "provide enhanced fees for evaluation and management services, including dental services, furnished to Medicaid-eligible individuals under the age of 19, " ADA leaders said.

The amendment also includes a comprehensive medical liability reform provision, which sets a limit on non-economic damages, places a cap on lawyers'contingent fees and establishes a reasonable legal standard for awarding punitive damages, among other reforms, the Association said.

"As you know, the United States Senate is continuing to work on health care reform legislation into the holiday season and the ADA remains closely involved, ensuring our voice is heard, " ADA President Ron Tankersley and Executive Director Kathleen O'Loughlin said in the Dec. 18 "Dear Members " action alert.

"Since passage of the Senate Finance Committee's version of health care reform legislation, the ADA has worked with Senator Grassley and his staff to develop a provision that would provide enhanced reimbursement for dental Medicaid services, " the ADA officials said.

"We are pleased to tell you that Senator Grassley, with support from Senators (Max) Baucus (D-Mont. and Finance Committee chair), (Christopher) Dodd (D-Conn.) and (Tom) Harkin (D-Iowa), has introduced an amendment to the Senate's health care reform bill that takes the first step toward accomplishing that goal."

The action alert urged members to "write your Senators asking that they support SA 3245 as an amendment to the Senate health care reform bill." The Senate was heading toward a Christmas eve vote on health care legislation as Sen. Grassley offered his amendment. .