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The Wall Street Journal: Dentists’ organization fights plan to cover dental benefits under Medicare expansion

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WASHINGTON—The American Dental Association is mobilizing its 162,000 members to fight a proposal to include dental coverage for all Medicare recipients, opposition that could prove pivotal as Democrats look to make cuts in their $3.5 trillion domestic policy agenda.

Giving dental, vision and hearing benefits to the 60 million older and disabled Americans covered by Medicare will provide needed care to people who otherwise might not afford it, supporters say.

The ADA contends that Medicare won’t reimburse enough to cover their costs and is pushing an alternative plan that would limit benefits to the poorest Medicare recipients. It is asking members to contact lawmakers in opposition.

“There aren’t endless amounts of federal dollars, so the question is how do you maximize dollars to do the most good?” said Michael Graham, the ADA’s senior vice president for government and public affairs. “If you don’t focus on low-income seniors, you are just wasting your money.”

An expanded version of this story appears on WSJ.com.

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