Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee Approves Study of Dental Care for Disabled Pennsylvanians

Harrisburg – Vice-Chair of the Public Health and Welfare Committee, Sen. Bob Mensch (R-24), announced the Committee’s approval of a series of bills including SR 61.  Senate Resolution 61, sponsored by Senator Mensch, directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to study and compose a report on the status of  any disparities found in dental care for Pennsylvanians with disabilities.

The measure was sent to the full Senate for consideration.

“Many individuals with disabilities have difficulty in not only finding a dentist who take their dental insurance, but also have trouble finding a dental office that is equipped to treat a handicapped person. Some dental insurance plans seem reluctant to pay for services that may not be routine in dental care but necessary for a person with disabilities to receive adequate dental care. SR 61 will direct the LBFC to study these disparities and determine the obstacles that individuals with disabilities may have in obtaining quality dental care,” said Mensch.

Senator Mensch also amended SR 61 to remove the language “requiring private insurers to pay for anesthesia services for dental patients who are persons with disabilities;” since it is already required in Act 94 of 2012.  It also inserts the correct name of a “public health dental hygiene practitioner” so that reflects current law.

The committee also approved the following bills:

  • SB 384 (Baker) – An Act amending the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.343, No.176), known as The Fiscal Code, in general budget implementation, further providing for the Department of Public Welfare.
  •  HB 993 (Murt) – An Act amending the act of June 13, 1967 (P.L.31, No.21), known as the Public Welfare Code, changing the name of the Department of Public Welfare to the Department of Human Services; and providing for a transition period.
  • HB 1656 (Corbin) — An Act repealing the act of December 18, 1984 (P.L.1068, No.213), entitled “An act requiring physicians to obtain informed consent from patients for treatment of breast disease.

More information about state issues is available at Senator Mensch’s website,, or on Facebook at and Twitter at @SenatorMensch


Sarah Stroman
(215) 541-2388