According to Politico, groups including the American Dental Association (ADA)—threatened by the possibility that patients will switch to traditional Medicare plans instead of higher-paying, private Medicare Advantage plans—are pushing Congress to apply means-testing to the provisions.
“Let’s focus on those who currently can’t afford to see a dentist, people who are most likely to end up in the emergency room,” Michael Graham, senior vice president for government and public affairs for the ADA, which wants Congress to limit dental benefits to people earning less than 300% of the federal poverty line.
Polls show millions of Americans—not just those living in poverty—have significant trouble affording dental care, and frequently go without to save money. Last year, one in five older adults told the National Poll on Healthy Aging that they had delayed taking care of their oral health in the previous two years, with a majority saying cost had played a role in their decision.
In 2018, nearly half of Americans polled by NORC said they went without a routine cleaning or dental checkup that year, and 39% said they avoided getting treatment for a dental problem. Ninety-three percent of older adults told the National Poll on Healthy Aging that they favored including dental coverage in traditional Medicare.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction