Bilirakis Introduces Bill for VA Dental Care Pilot Program
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) introduced the Veterans Early Treatment for Chronic Ailment Resurgence through Examinations (VET CARE) Act, to require the Veterans Administration (VA) to put in place a four-year pilot program providing dental care for Veterans. Right now, dental care through the VA is limited to those who are 100% disabled or have a direct service connected injury.
“Our Veterans have sacrificed so much on behalf of our country, they deserve access to high quality health care, and that includes dental care,” said Bilirakis. “The VET CARE Act will get the ball rolling to expand access to dental care for our nation’s heroes, and could result in lower overall health care costs for the VA. Not only is this legislation good for Veterans, it’s good for the VA as a whole.”
Studies have shown that regular dental care helps alleviate certain chronic conditions, reducing overall health care costs. Since the VA spends most of its health care costs on treating Veterans with chronic ailments, like diabetes, heart conditions, and more, dental coverage would help ensure a healthier Veteran population and bring those costs down.
For two years in a row, Bilirakis has partnered with the West Pasco Dental Association and Pasco-Hernando State College to highlight the need for VA dental care, and provide free treatment for local Veterans at the Stars, Stripes, and Smiles event.