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President Barack Obama has signed legislation to continue the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a move that has been applauded by dental health organizations.
The law, which received strong support in Congress, will provide a stable dental benefit for CHIP-eligible children for the first time. It also includes provisions that will provide coverage for dental care, oral health education for new parents, expanded access for health center patients and increased quality of care for families who are unable to afford dental insurance.
Congressman Elijah E Cummings has been a major advocate for the bill and said he was inspired after the tragic death of 12-year-old Deamonte Driver from complications of tooth decay.
"With this landmark legislation, we take the first steps toward ensuring that all the Deamontes out there are freed from their senseless pain and suffering," the Democrat from Maryland said.
Families with children who may not be eligible for CHIP may want to consider discount dental plans. These plans, an alternative to dental insurance, provide discounts of 10 to 60 percent on most dental procedures.
For more information on discount dental plans, call 1-888-632-5353
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