Seniors group backs 'sweeping' dental health bills

In endorsing the bills, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare praised Sanders and Cummings for offering a plan to address "the oral health crisis in America."

"It is unfortunate that under current law routine dental services are excluded from Medicare coverage even though these services are very important for the health of beneficiaries," the group's president, Max Richtman, said in a statement.

"Out-of-pocket spending for dental care is a great burden for many Medicare beneficiaries," he said. 

The bill would also authorize funds so that schools, mobile clinics and community health centers could add or expand dental services, among other provisions.

"Tens of millions of Americans are unable to access affordable dental care and they suffer as a result of that," Sanders said Thursday at a press conference.

"By introducing what we believe is the most comprehensive dental care legislation in American history, we start addressing that issue," he said.