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Despite amendments made in committee, House Bill 687, the controversial bill to ban school-based mobile dental clinics approved by the Louisiana State House Health and Welfare Committee earlier this month, still unfairly restricts competition to provide dental care to the Louisiana's underserved children, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
In a letter to the Louisiana legislature the FTC warned that the bill would result in fewer students, especially those lacking in dental insurance, receiving dental care.
Further, it explains that the U.S. Surgeon General, Centers for Disease Control, and Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals all have advocated for more school-based dental services to improve dental care. Accordingly, FTC staff urges the legislature to "scrutinize carefully any assertion that the Bill will improve the quality of dental care for this population."
The AP notes that an amendment added to the bill in committee would allow mobile clinics in "underserved" areas determined by the State Board of Dentistry. The FTC considers the amendment insufficient to ensure competition, according to their letter.
The bill failed to pass the House last week by to votes and is expected to come up for a second vote soon.
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