Congressman Kim Introduces Dental Care for Our Troops Act and Military Family Protection from Debt Act
WASHINGTON D.C. – Yesterday, Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03) introduced two bills, the Dental Care for Our Troops Act and the Military Family Protection from Debt Act, to put servicemembers and their families first. These policies are two of Congressman Kim’s top priorities for the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that is being considered by the House Armed Services Committee next week.
“When I speak with National Guard members, Reservists, and military support organizations, they tell me that access to affordable dental care is a concern for them, and that dental issues are a top reason reservists are found unfit to deploy,” said Congressman Kim. “With this bill, we’re making sure that all National Guard and reservists have access to premium-free TRICARE for dental. My other bill makes sure that military families have peace of mind while their family member is on active duty by capping interest rates for loans taken out by families of servicemembers. Both servicemembers and military families sacrifice so much for us, and I’m proud to support providing these benefits they earn every single day.”
The Dental Care for Our Troops Act, introduced with Congressman Trent Kelly (MS-01), is one piece of their larger Healthcare for Our Troops Act, which would ensure all National Guard and reservists have access to no-fee healthcare like active-duty servicemembers do, even when they are not on active status.
The dental coverage legislation is endorsed by the National Guard Association of the United States, Reserve Organization of America, and Military Officers Association of America. You can find a summary of the Dental Care for Our Troops Act here.
“Our men and women in the Reserve and National Guard component stand at the ready to defend America at home and across the world,” said Congressman Kelly. “It is our duty as members of Congress to ensure they have access to preventative and continuous dental care – just as we do for active-duty military personnel. I am proud to be a lead co-sponsor for this important legislation that is key to military readiness.”
“Without affordable dental coverage, National Guard and Reserve members face barriers to maintaining comprehensive health which is a prerequisite to readiness,” said Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins, USAF (Ret), MOAA President and CEO. “MOAA thanks Congressman Andy Kim and Congressman Trent Kelly for introducing this bill that would bring the Reserve Component dental benefit on par with active duty and facilitate access to care. Our nation counts on Reserve Component members to respond when our nation needs them – we must support them with affordable dental care to ensure their readiness.”
The Military Protection from Debt Act would help reduce interest rates on pre-service loans for the families of active servicemembers and ease financial burdens while their servicemember is deployed. Interest rates are already capped at six percent for servicemembers during their deployment, and this legislation would expand the same protections to military family members. Military families sacrifice alongside our servicemembers when on deployment and Congress should provide them with any protections they need to be able to keep food on the table and a roof over their head.
The family member debt protection legislation is endorsed by the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS) and the Fleet Reserve Association. You can find a summary of the Military Protection from Debt Act here.
Congressman Kim is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the House Committee on Small Business. More information about Congressman Kim can be found on his website by clicking here.