The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), led by Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander and Washington Democrat Patty Murray, has scheduled two bipartisan hearings next month to discuss ways in which to improve the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The hearings, set for Sept. 6-7, will focus on stabilizing premiums and helping people in the individual market.
The attempts at a bipartisan approach to fixing health care mark a change in strategy after the failure last month of Republican efforts to repeal and replace the ACA. Sen. Alexander has said lawmakers must find a way to stabilize the individual insurance market because millions of Americans will be unable to buy insurance unless Congress acts.
“At these hearings, we will hear testimony from state insurance commissioners and governors—those closest to the problem—on steps Congress can take to help make insurance available at affordable prices. Any solution that Congress passes for a 2018 stabilization package will have to be small, bipartisan and balanced," Alexander said in a statement. Alexander also said he hopes his committee can pass a bill by the end of September.
Impact on General Dentistry: As Congress moves forward with its deliberation of ACA replacement legislation, the AGD will continue to urge lawmakers not to lose sight of the key role oral health plays in the overall health of both children and adults and to thus protect the expansion of dental coverage gained under the ACA.