For families who may not have access to much-needed dental care, this has been a good week in Congress.
Yesterday, the Senate Finance Committee approved the reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) by a 12 to 7 vote, which could potentially extend dental health coverage to an additional four million children not currently enrolled in the program.
Committee chair and Democrat Max Baucus introduced the bill that would expand the program by $31.5 billion in the next four-and-a-half years. Earlier this week, a similar bill was passed through the House of Representatives that called to expand the program by more than $32 billion in the next five years.
In the Senate bill, an amendment from Republican Senator Olympia Snowe was adopted and would allow states to offer dental insurance to children already under a private family health insurance plan.
Both pieces of legislation come less than a week before President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration on January 20th and has been interpreted by some news analysts as a sign that Congress may be ready for a expansive health care reform plan.
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