legislative liaison spotlight
Legislative liaisons serve an important role at each chapter. The 2016-17 Council on Advocacy would like to recognize these leaders and share their successes.

Meet West Virginia's legislative liaison, Michael Petrides
Michael is a second year at the West Virginia University School of Dentistry. Michael took on the role of legislative liaison in order to serve his peers and to promote advocacy within dentistry. He enjoys getting involved in ASDA and attending every event possible. After attending local and national events, Michael has embraced ASDA and the differing perspectives offered by students and faculty across the country. He has become a firm believer in the importance of student involvement and encourages all students to get involved as much as they can. When Michael is not in the classroom or busy with ASDA, you can find him on the 18th green, two under par. (Score subject to vary)

How do you engage students at your school?
We hold an ADPAC drive and many lunch and learns. These events allow students to interact with dental professionals to get their take on advocacy and the critical role we students can play in getting involved.

Learn more about Michael, including how his interest in advocacy began and what famous person he'd like to have dinner with.
from Washington
Election: 2016
With 60 days left until the election, ASDA would like to help you prepare for November.

How do I register to vote?
For information on how to register to vote along with basic voting information specific to your state, visit the ADA's Engage Elections webpage.

Aside from the president, who am I voting for?
Members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms and are considered for re-election every even year. Therefore, all 435 House seats are up for re-election this year.

Senators serve six-year terms and elections to the Senate are staggered over even years, so only about one-third of the Senate is up for re-election this year.

Who are the dentists running for Congress?
This year four dentists are running for Congress.

Dr. Drew Ferguson won the Republican runoff in Georgia's 3rd Congressional District. He will face Angela Pendley (D) in the general election.

Reps. Paul Gosar, Mike Simpson and Brian Babin are seeking re-election. See below for more information about the incumbents.

Election
Will face Jennifer Martinez (D) and Anthony Tomkins (Constitution Party) in the general election.

Tenure
Member of the United States House of Representatives since 1999.

Committee Assignments
  • Committee on Appropriations
Support for ASDA issues
Lead Republican co-sponsor for H.R. 539, The Action for Dental Health Act, a bill ASDA advocated for during the 2015 and 2016 National Dental Student Lobby Day.

Election
Will face Mickel Weisser (D) and Robert Hixon in the general election.

Tenure
Member of the United States House of Representatives since 2011.

Committee Assignments
  • Committee on Natural Resources
  • Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Support for ASDA issues
Co-sponsored H.R. 539, The Action for Dental Health Act.

Election
Will face Hal Ridley Jr. (G) in the general election.

Tenure
Member of the United States House of Representatives since 2015.

Committee Assignments
  • Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
  • Committee on Science, Space and Technology
Support for ASDA issues
Co-sponsored H.R. 539, The Action for Dental Health Act.


Cost of children's dental plans to be included in IRS subsidy calculation

What's the issue?
On July 8, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a proposed rule that states the agency will consider the cost of stand-alone pediatric dental health plans when calculating tax credits for health insurance premiums purchased under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

While children's dental benefits are part of the ACA's ten essential health benefits, most health plans do not include these benefits. Therefore families are required to purchase dental plans separately.

In the past, the IRS did not include the cost of the dental plans when figuring tax credits given to families purchasing insurance coverage under the ACA.

Why is this important?
Including pediatric dental plans in the IRS subsidy calculation shows the government's commitment to oral care for children.

Next step:

from the states
Kansas coalition suggests educating dental therapists

What's the issue?
More than 50 groups formed a coalition to advocate for educating dental therapists to provide oral health care in Kansas. The Kansas Dental Hygienists' Association, Oral Health Kansas, Disability Rights Center of Kansas and Kansas Action for Children are just a few of the organizations that make up this coalition.

Fourteen of the state's counties have no dental providers at all, while four out of five counties don't have enough dentists to meet the counties' needs. The coalition believes that educating dental therapists will help reduce barriers to care by bringing oral health care to communities that don't currently have access to it.

Why is this important?
This debate has received national attention due to articles published in the Wall Street Journal.

On August 19, the Wall Street Journal published a piece by Eric Boehm entitled "You Don't Need to Be a Dentist to Fill a Cavity." The article reviews the dental therapy model in Minnesota and shares why this model should be applied to other states.

On August 30, the Wall Street Journal published a response to this piece from Dr. Jane Grover, the ADA's Director of the Council on Access Prevention and Interprofessional Relations. Dr. Grover's response suggested that dental therapists are not the solution to access-to-care problems and recommended the use of community dental health coordinators to reduce barriers to care.

ASDA believes that only a dentist should perform the following functions:
  1. Examination, diagnosis and treatment planning
  2. Prescribing work authorizations
  3. Performing surgical/irreversible dental procedures
  4. Prescribing drugs and/or other medications
Next steps:


Advocacy Brief shares news about ongoing issues and legislation that are of interest to dental students and organized dentistry. Inclusion of items does not imply their adherence to ASDA policy.
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