A controversial bill to ban school-based mobile dental clinics has been approved by the Louisiana State House Health and Welfare Committee, according to a report from the Associated Press.
After being unable to reach a decision on the bill when it came up for a vote last week, the bill was approved by the committee after a number of exceptions to the ban were added, including allowing the mobile clinics to operate in areas deemed underserved by dentists.
The mobile clinics bring dentists directly to schools to perform dental care. They are common in Louisiana, where children can lack access even if they qualify for Medicaid or LaCHIP health-care programs.
The supporters of the ban, led by the Louisiana Dental Association, say the mobile units are unsanitary and unsafe, and children should be treated in a fully-equipped office regardless of whether or not they have dental insurance.
According to the AP, several members of the committee tried to move the issue to the state dental board which would be tasked with devising regulations for the mobile units, but the attempt failed by an 8-6 vote.
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