Action for Dental Health Act, sponsored by Rep. Robin Kelly, Ph.D. (D-IL),
passed the House of Representatives on Feb. 26 and is now heading to the Senate
for consideration. This bill authorizes $18 million each year through 2022 to
fund oral health promotion and disease awareness programs from the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Action for Dental Health enables the CDC
to fund grants for medical equipment, operational costs, outreach programs and
more. It can also be used to cover transportation costs to dental appointments.
Dental schools are among the eligible recipients of the grants.
bill received bipartisan support with two dentists as cosponsors—Rep. Michael
Simpson, D.M.D. (R-ID) and Rep. Paul Gosar, D.D.S. (R-AZ)—as well as
endorsements from ADEA and the American Dental Association.
Upon enactment, the bill would amend the Public Health Service Act to expand
essential dental care services for low-income and other underserved individuals
in urban and rural areas. ADEA is working with its oral health partners to
ensure this bill continues to move toward final passage.