RAO Davao City

United States Military Retiree Activities Office Davao City, Philippines

VA DENTAL TREATMENT UPDATE – 1 May 2008

Posted by Service Officer on April 30th, 2008

VA DENTAL TREATMENT UPDATE 02: U.S. Representative Mark Kirk (R-IL) joined with local veterans 15 APR to introduce bipartisan legislation that would significantly boost dental care for service-connected disabled veterans.

The "Make Our Veterans Smile Act" (H.R.5595) was co-introduced on 12 MAR by Congressman Kirk and Congressman Chris Carney (D-PA), the U.S. House’s only actively serving U.S. Navy Reserve intelligence officers. Currently, only 100% disabled, homeless or prisoner-of-war veterans are eligible for dental benefits. The bill expands dental coverage to any service-connected disabled veteran, regardless of disability rating starting 1 JAN 09.

This legislation also allows the VA to use contractor facilities if they find it necessary to meet the demands for dental care. The bill was referred to the House committee on Veteran Affairs and has already gained 44 cosponsors.

According to the U.S. Veterans Administration, 258,000 veterans currently are eligible for dental benefits. More than 2.5 million additional disabled veterans would receive coverage under the Kirk-Carney bill. In Illinois, coverage would expand from nearly 5,000 veterans to more than 60,000 veterans, according to the Congressional Research Service. [Source: Rep. Christopher P. Carney Press release 13 Mar 08 ++]

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