BILLINGS – What some say is the single greatest issue facing dentists may get fixed by a bill in Congress that would make health and dental insurance work better for consumers.
Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) talked about the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act on Wednesday. He held a roundtable discussion with dentists and others involved in the industry in the Avitus Group Boardroom.
Fixed prices, no recourse, and no federal oversight challenge dentists, according to Al Garver, Montana Dental Association executive director-chair.
The bill would change that by taking away a federal anti-trust exemption for health and dental insurance companies.
“This is a bill that I’m leading with Pat Leahy, who is the senator from Vermont. It removes that exclusion and really returns pricing now to the free market and competition,” Daines said. “When you do that, you see lower prices, higher quality, better outcomes.”
The House passed the bill, H.R. 372, 416-7 in March of 2017. Sen. Daines and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) co-sponsored the Senate version of the bill.
“The issue was that nobody in the Senate introduced this bill,” Sen. Daines said. “And I’m not quite sure why. Sometimes what’s obvious isn’t always done.”
Sen. Daines said President Trump supports the bill, as did President Obama. “It’s time the Senate to take action and get this passed,” Sen. Daines said.
-David Jay, reporting for MTN News