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Oral Health & Healthcare Reform



In light of the debate surrounding the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA), no matter the opinion, I think it's safe to say that relatively all agree the American healthcare system has been inadequate for years. It's a system that had left millions of Americans under-insured, without coverage, or outright denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions. In terms of oral health, adequate and affordable dental coverage is as equally elusive (if not more so) as healthcare coverage. In terms of healthcare reform, dental professional pushed the issue of oral health care and the need for better coverage in these discussions. Slowly but surely, policymakers are coming to understand how oral health/dental coverage is as important as that of general medicine. Now, "approximately 8.7 million children are expected to gain some form of dental benefits by 2018 as a result of the ACA. This will reduce the number of children without dental benefits by about 55 percent compared with 2010, according to a report from the American Dental Association. About a third of these children will be covered through their parents’ employer-sponsored insurance, while about another third will be covered through Medicaid. The remainder will be covered by new policies from the health insurance exchanges (Washington Post).

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