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Debt ceiling crisis could affect U.S. citizens' access to dental care
Updated: 8/2/2011 5:00:22 PM

Debt ceiling crisis could affect U.S. citizens The ongoing debate regarding the U.S. government's debt has concerned many. With a full resolution to the crisis still pending as of August 2, healthcare for American citizens, including dental and oral health services, are among the programs in danger of possible spending cuts, according to Dental Health Magazine.

In 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) into law. This legislation, intended to provide funding for increased access to health services including dental care, may be in danger due to newly proposed cuts in federal spending.

These budget reductions, which would affect U.S. government spending across the board, were a contingency added to a House of Representatives bill increasing the debt ceiling on August 1. More than $1 trillion in federal spending will be cut over 10 years, according to CBS News.

Dental Health Magazine reports that PPACA authorized the release of $5 million in 2011 to fund programs encouraging proper dental care for citizens at the state level. This funding, and budgeting for similar programs in the future, could be revoked due to the House bill's cuts.

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research confirms the importance of dental care. A total of 42 percent of children ages 2 to 11 have tooth decay, and 8.5 percent of adults 20 to 64 have periodontal disease.

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