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Since the year began, a number of bills have come before Congress that would improve dental care for patients as well as elevating the role of dentists during national disasters.
The American Dental Association stated a "flurry of activity" has taken place in Washington in the past month with bipartisan lawmakers shaping a dental agenda in the 111th Congress.
Among the bills being considered is the Dental Emergency Responder Act, which would allow dentists to respond to natural and man-made disasters. Representative Bart Stupak sponsored the bill and said dentists are equipped to help, but are hindered by current public health laws.
Another bill would allow Medicare Part B reimbursement for "medically necessary dental care," which was offered by Representative Steve Cohen.
Recently the ADA's Meth Mouth Prevention and Recovery Act was introduced, which will fund local school-based programs to educate students about the negative dental health consequences of using meth.
President Barack Obama has already signed the State Children's Health Insurance Program expansion bill and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, both of which could potentially improve the dental health of millions of Americans.
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