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Dental Benefits Under Healthcare Reform

Legislative and Regulatory Trends

Expansion of children’s health and dental programs

SCHIP bills pass in House and Senate

House version contains guaranteed dental benefit

Senate version does not, but contains $200 million for dental grants. Also provides for premium assistance to eligible kids who join parent’s plans through work, but excludes assistance for stand-alone dental.

Need is for a “veto-proof” reconciliation, as President Bush opposes expansion on grounds that expanded kid care lays the foundation for socialized medicine.

Other issues: Medicare Advantage funding; $35 or $50 billion appropriation; anti crowd-out provisions; size of tobacco tax increases, comparative research components…

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