Last month, four of our very own CDM students, Andrea Numbers (2020), Shelby Maurice (2020), Sandy Ku (2020), and Ivana Younan (2021), along with 500 other dental students attended ADA’s annual Dentist and Student Lobby Day in Washington, D.C. Students joined with dentists from all over the nation to receive issue-specific training and learn how to effectively lobby legislators on Capitol Hill. The meeting served as a perfect opportunity to network with current and future colleagues in each state!
During their meetings with lawmakers, students and dentists urged Congress to address the following issues:
Student Loan Programs and the Higher Education Act: Attendees urged members of Congress to include principles important to dental students and new graduates when considering the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. Among the considerations, students advocated for preserving public loan forgiveness programs and extending the period of deferment for repa ying loans.
Action for Dental Health Act: The bill allows organizations to qualify for oral health grants administered by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These grants would enable organizations to provide dental services to underserved populations. Thanks in part to ASDA's efforts, the Action for Dental Health Act passed the House of Representatives. A companion bill in the Senate is expected to be introduced by Cory Booker (D-N.J.). Attendees encouraged senators to co-sponsor the bill when it is introduced.
Opioids: There are more than 130 bills in Congress addressing the opioid crisis. ASDA and the ADA lobbied for elements they believe are important to include in comprehensive bipartisan legislation. These included prescribing limits for acute pain and improving drug-monitoring programs.
Dental and Optometric Care Access Act of 2017 or "DOC Access Act": The bill prohibits "non-covered services" provisions in dental and vision plans. Attendees advocated for members of the House of Representatives to co-sponsor this bill.
McCarran-Ferguson repeal for health insurance: This bill would authorize the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice to enforce the full range of anti-trust laws against health insurance companies engaged in anticompetitive conduct. This bill passed the House of Representatives last year. Attendees encouraged senators to co-sponsor the bill when it is introduced in the Senate.
For more information about these issues or how to get involved:
Stay tuned for more emails and upcoming events from your ASDA student leaders!