For the first time, federal funds for oral health screenings for older Americans will be made available if the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015 is enacted. The bill was amended to include “oral health” as part of routine health screenings.
The Older Americans Act provides funding to more 680 state and area agencies on aging and also supports a range of social and nutrition services and programs for nearly 12 million U.S. seniors. This would be an important step toward comprehensive preventive and restorative oral care.
The bill (S. 192), sponsored by Sen Lamar Alexander (R-TN), was approved unanimously by voice vote by the Senate on July 16. It now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives. The website govtrack.us gives the legislation a 66% chance of enactment, as of July 20.