American Dental Association pressures Congress to expand Medicaid coverage

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The American Dental Association implored congressional leadership to support Rep. Nanette Barragán, D-Calif., and the Medicaid Dental Benefit Act, which would loop dental coverage into Medicaid. 

In an Aug. 11 letter, the association called the lack of adult dental Medicaid coverage a "glaring hole" that is vital to improving equity and overall public health. 

The association ties cost savings to the move, with improved dental care potentially leading to $273 million in the bank by deterring diabetes, heart disease and other conditions with good dental health. 

Currently, adult dental coverage is optional for state Medicaid plans, according to the letter. It is, however, required for children enrolled in Medicaid.

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