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Not everyone who supported the Affordable Care Act is pleased with what it could mean for the future of kid’s dental care, according to the Kaiser Health News. The concern is that children who would have access oral healthcare as part of the new plan (among families who don’t already qualify for Medicaid or CHIP) may not be able to afford it after all.
“This is a huge disappointment,” Sen. Ben Cardin, a longtime proponent of improving children’s access to dental care, said in the article. He’s leading an effort on Capitol Hill to overturn current health law regulations for pediatric dental services. “This is inconsistent with the philosophy of the Affordable Care Act,” he says.
The main concern of Cardin and other oral health advocates is that parents may not be able to afford dental care if the cost for that care (under the new plan) does not count toward the assistance a family receives on the federal or state level, as in the case here in Philadelphia. The added expense could mean that kids get left out of the healthcare system and that their oral health suffers, which leads to other serious health problems down the road.
“In federally run exchanges, or those in which states are partnering with the federal government, stand-alone dental policies can include out-of-pocket costs as high as $700 per child or $1,400 per family,” reports Kaiser. “(State-run exchanges can set their own “reasonable” out-of-pocket limits.) These expenses are in addition to what the families would pay for medical coverage.”