Monday, August 30, 2021
Here's an interesting (I don't want to say hopeful) idea. According to the New York Times article, Five Decades Later, Medicare Might Cover Dental Care it's a possibility that could become a reality if the odds can be overcome. "Tens of millions of older Americans who cannot afford dental care — with severe consequences for their overall health, what they eat and even when they smile — may soon get help as Democrats maneuver to add dental benefits to Medicare for the first time in its history....The proposal, part of the large budget bill moving through Congress, would be among the largest changes to Medicare since its creation in 1965 but would require overcoming resistance from dentists themselves, who are worried that it would pay them too little."
We know the implications on overall health that come from dental issues. The article cites the statistic that 20% of older Americans have lost their teeth and dental issues can exacerbate health issues that are covered by Medicare. Given that Medicare covers many preventive services, is it such a stretch to see the value of adding dental coverage? But with all things political, passage is an uphill battle. "On Capitol Hill, the proposal to add a Medicare dental benefit has near-universal support among Democrats, and many health industry and consumer groups back it, too... With the Democrats’ large policy ambitions but narrow majority, its passage is not assured."