June 16, 2017
The Honorable Robin Kelly
1239 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative Kelly:
Delta Dental Plans Association (Delta Dental) strongly supports H.R.2422, the Action for Dental Health Act of 2017, because it reinforces our long-time support of good oral health nationwide.
As the first company to specialize in dental benefits, Delta Dental is passionate about oral health and its importance to future generations. Our core purpose is the advancement of oral health care to our customers, partners, and consumers through the dental benefits programs and philanthropic efforts of our 39 independent member companies.
For over 60 years, we have developed a long tradition of funding oral health care services in communities across the country. In 2015, Delta Dental member companies donated more than $59 million nationwide to support community benefit initiatives that advance and promote good oral health.
Through such efforts as Missions of Mercy and a variety of community health initiatives, our member companies have also established and maintained preventive oral health programs in their respective communities, including school-based fluoride varnish and sealant programs, and oral health literacy programs.
Making a similar commitment to good oral health, the Action for Dental Health Act directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to award grants to eligible entities to:
- support voluntary dental projects to provide free dental services to underserved populations;
- use dental sealants and fluoride varnish, and increase oral health literacy;
- make health care delivery systems providing dental services more accessible and efficient through the expansion of dental homes;
- reduce geographic, language, cultural, and other similar barriers to the provision of dental services;
- reduce the use of emergency departments by individuals who seek dental services; and
- facilitate the provision of dental care to nursing home residents.
Delta Dental applauds the focus areas of these grants, as they touch on some of the nation’s most urgent oral health needs. We stand ready to provide any further support of this legislation which we see as being critical to alleviating oral health disparities within our communities.
Vice President, Government Relations
Delta Dental Plans Association