Sending Office: Honorable Carol Shea-Porter
Sent By:

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Current cosponsors: Bordallo, Cohen, Davis (IL), Jackson Lee, Kilmer, Lipinski, Sean Patrick Maloney, Moore, Holmes Norton, Ryan (OH), Schakowsky, Hultgren, Quigley

Dear Colleague,

I invite you to cosponsor H.R. 4556, legislation to expand eligibility for dental care to all veterans enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system.

Health insurance shouldn’t end at the neck, and neither should the VA’s standard medical benefits package. This legislation is simple: it eliminates the current statutory eligibility restrictions for VA dental care, thus expanding eligibility for
VA dental care to all veterans enrolled in the system.
 Dental care would become part of the standard medical benefits package for all enrolled veterans. This bill will improve the physical health and welfare of our veterans, who deserve nothing less. 

Current law limits eligibility for VA dental care to veterans with a service-connected disability rated 100%; veterans with a service-connected dental condition; former prisoners of war; and homeless veterans. Dental care is also available if a dental condition
is aggravating a service-connected condition or complicates treatment of that condition.[1]  Veterans who fall outside of these categories
cannot access dental care from the VA, making dental care too expensive for many veterans.

These restrictions prevent many of the 9 million veterans currently enrolled in the VA healthcare system from receiving the VA dental care they need.[2] Studies
have shown that poor dental health can lead to more significant health issues such as cardiovascular disease[3], dementia[4],
and respiratory infections[5], as well as additional complications for people with diabetes
. [6][7]

Expanding eligibility for dental care to all veterans enrolled in the system will ensure that veterans’ dental records are maintained in the VA’s electronic health records system. VA healthcare providers are often unable see the dental records of veterans
who receive care outside of the VA or the VA’s Community Care programs, preventing these providers from associating major health issues with a veteran’s dental health. 

Please join me and support this important legislation to provide dental healthcare to every veteran enrolled in the VA healthcare system. If you have any questions or would like to cosponsor the bill, please contact


Carol Shea-Porter

Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: HealthCare, Veterans

Related Bill Information

Bill Type: H.R.
Bill Type: 4556
Special Note:

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