DEM LAWMAKER CRITICIZES MEDICARE DENTAL ‘HALF MEASURE’
Democratic Rep. Jared Golden (Maine) is criticizing the provision in House Democrats’ current social spending package to add dental benefits to Medicare as a “potentially harmful half-measure.”
Golden writes that he believes adding dental benefits to Medicare could be “meaningful and effective” for seniors, but he wants the policy to be done right. He criticizes the current bill for not beginning dental benefits until 2028, and the government would not pick up 50 percent of seniors costs until 2032.
“I am concerned that such a long delay in roll out of this coverage is a deliberate effort to shift costs outside the ten year score of this legislation, thereby masking its true cost,” he wrote in a letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.).
Golden says if the provision cannot be fully paid for and implemented quickly, it should be “set aside.”
The concerns from Golden, a lawmaker from a competitive district, illustrate the balancing act on health provisions, as leaders look to also fund priorities like enhanced Affordable Care Act subsidies and expanded Medicaid, which are all competing for scarce dollars.
Golden wrote last week that the package overall “needs more work” to get his support.