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After weeks of controversy and debate, a bill that began as a bid to ban mobile dental care clinics at public schools was changed into one that directs the Louisiana State Board of Dentistry to come up with new regulations for the mobile units by January 1, 2010.
That bill, HR 687, was approved by the Louisiana State Legislature yesterday and has been sent to Governor Bobby Jindal to sign.
The clinics have increased in number over the last few years, treating students at schools in low-income or rural areas who otherwise didn't have access to dental health care due to their location, economic situation or lack of dental insurance.
Dentists in Louisiana objected to the clinics, claiming they were unsafe, unsanitary and did not provide comprehensive, quality dental care. The FTC even got involved, offering the opinion that the move to ban the clinics was an unfair attempt to stifle competition.
The final version of the bill removes a provision inserted earlier that would have required any dentist working in one of these mobile clinics to have at least $1 million in medical malpractice liability insurance.
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