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AGD Concerned With Presidential Veto of SCHIP Reauthorization Bill
Date:10/4/2007

CHICAGO, Oct. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) was extremely disappointed by President Bush's decision yesterday to veto the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) reauthorization bill. The SCHIP bill agreed upon and passed by both chambers of Congress included many important and beneficial dental provisions intended to provide for the oral healthcare of our nation's children. However, President Bush, who had threatened to veto this bill, followed through with his threat, effectively denying uninsured children an opportunity for dental care.

"With October being Children's Health Month, the timing of this presidential veto is ironic and inappropriate. We are saddened to see a lack of regard for the healthcare of our future generations," asserted AGD's President, Vincent Mayher, DMD, MAGD. "The inclusion of guaranteed dental coverage in the final SCHIP bill (a top legislative priority for AGD members) would have ensured that millions of children would receive essential oral health care," said Dr. Mayher. Currently, approximately 23 million children are without dental care insurance in the United States.

As sent to President Bush, the SCHIP reauthorization bill includes "coverage of dental services necessary to prevent disease and promote oral health, restore oral structures to health and function, and treat emergency conditions." The bill also contains language on dental education for parents of newborns, reporting information on dental health, inclusion of specific dental requirements in a new set of child health quality measures in Medicaid and SCHIP, and a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study and report on access to dental services for children in underserved areas.

"This battle is far from over," warned Janet Kopenhaver, AGD's Washington lobbyist. "Our members will be contacting their legislators to urge them to support an override vote of this egregious veto." Legislators' votes on thi
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SOURCE The Academy of General Dentistry
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