White House Framework Excludes Medicare Dental Expansion

  • by AGD Washington Advocacy Representative
  • Nov 3, 2021
On October 28, the White House released its framework for the Build Back Better Act budget reconciliation package with a topline cost of $1.75 trillion. Notably, the framework removed a proposal to create a dental benefit under Medicare Part B that was previously included in legislation under consideration in the House of Representatives.

AGD has unequivocally opposed proposals to expand dental benefits under Medicare and has been actively lobbying policymakers to eliminate these proposals from consideration. AGD believes these proposals would not address low-income seniors' immediate oral health needs and would disincentivize provider participation. AGD is pleased that the White House acknowledged these concerns and is hopeful that these proposals will continue to be excluded from the budget reconciliation package.

While the full House of Representatives may vote on the Build Back Better Act (H.R.5376) as early as this week, negotiations on what will ultimately be included are still underway. It appears that Congressional Democrats broadly support the outline of the package. However, there is an ongoing effort by progressives to have provisions that were left out of the White House's framework reinserted, such as paid leave, prescription drug pricing, and Medicare benefits expansion.

Once a consensus is reached on the reconciliation package, it will need to be passed in both the House and Senate. This process is anticipated to take several weeks, and the bill may not be finalized until the December timeframe. 

Impact on General Dentistry: AGD will continue to engage with policymakers to ensure any proposals to expand Medicare to include dental benefits are omitted from the ongoing consideration of the budget reconciliation package. AGD members have been an integral part of informing policymakers on general dentists' concerns with proposals to expand Medicare to include dental. AGD appreciates the many members who have contacted their members of Congress through action alerts on this issue. While we are hopeful that this latest development will yield a final package that does not include Medicare dental expansion, we need to continue outreach to Congress and your help to finish the fight.