When the program began half a century ago, backers believed the benefits would expand over time, but politics and concerns about money have stymied most efforts. Now congressional Democrats are looking to add vision, dental and hearing care.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who is helping to negotiate the health care spending framework for the Democrats’ budget plan, said lawmakers may have to settle for very basic versions of programs deployed in the package. But the key, he added, is to get the “architecture of these changes, bold changes,” started and show people what is possible.
In California’s rural Central Valley, low-income children have limited access to vision care. School districts are teaming up with nonprofits to fill the gaps.