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

Meet Columbia's legislative liaison, Chad Curtis
Chad is a second-year student at Columbia. He is a graduate of University of South Carolina, where he obtained a bachelor's degree in biology and Spanish. Upon matriculating at Columbia, Chad took an active role in getting involved with his local ASDA chapter. This year, Chad has helped his chapter flourish as the lead legislative liaison. Together with his advocacy council, Chad has initiated many events at Columbia, including an ADPAC Drive and New York State Lobby Day. His outstanding involvement and commitment to advocacy are the reasons why he's District 1-3 Legislative Liaison Spotlight.

What got you interested in advocacy?
During my first year of dental school, I was lucky enough to go to Washington D.C. for National Dental Student Lobby Day where I saw the tremendous impact that members of the dental community can have on legislation. After this experience, I knew that getting involved in advocacy was the way I wanted to make my contribution to the dental profession throughout school.

Learn more about Chad, including his biggest challenge in engaging ASDA members in advocacy activities and what famous person he'd like to have dinner with.

from ASDA
Don't miss out on ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day
You and your classmates will have the opportunity to join with hundreds of other students and dentists who are eager to make change on Capitol Hill. Throughout three days in Washington D.C., you will attend receptions, network with dentists from your state, hear from prominent speakers and meet with your elected officials.

Talk to your ASDA leaders if you'd like to participate, or you can register on your own. The deadline to register is March 1.

from Washington
Trump signs executive order on the Affordable Care Act

What's the issue?
On Jan. 20, 2017, President Trump's first day in office, he signed an executive order that attempts to minimize the economic burden associated with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). (How do executive orders work? Check out this image.)

In the order, Trump empowers federal agencies to "waive, defer, grant exemption from or delay" the enforcement of rules that impose financial burdens. It provides the framework for states to have more flexibility in creating a "free and open health care market" and directs federal agencies to promote this concept of a free and open market for insurers.

Why is this important?
Pediatric dental care is listed as one of the ten essential health benefits mandated under the ACA. While it is not stated specifically within the document, the order appears to allow some flexibility on the benefits that insurers provide on health plans. This means that insurers could stop providing coverage for pediatric dental care along with the other ten essential health benefits.

Next step:
Update on Congress' effort to repeal the ACA 
The January issue of the Advocacy Brief related the procedural steps Congress needed to take to begin repealing the Affordable Care Act.

On Jan. 12, Congress passed a budget resolution that will allow Republicans to repeal certain aspects of the ACA through a simple majority vote.

The resolution stated that committees would have until Jan. 27 to produce legislation that would repeal major provisions of the ACA. However within a week of passing the resolution, the date was moved to mid- to late March.

from the states
Massachusetts and North Dakota introduce midlevel legislation

What's the issue?
On Jan. 12, State Sen. Michael Moore (D-Mass.) introduced SD 168. The bill would allow a new type of midlevel provider called the public health dental practitioner to practice in the state.

Public health dental practitioners would be able to practice in federally qualified health centers and be able to perform the following functions:
  • Prepare and place direct restorations
  • Place single-tooth temporary crowns
  • Perform indirect and direct pulp capping on permanent teeth and indirect pulp capping on primary teeth
North Dakota
On Jan. 18, State Rep. Bill Devlin (R-N.D.) introduced HB1256, a bill allowing dental therapists to practice in the state. Under the supervision of a dentist, dental therapists would be able to provide certain preventive care services, like filling cavities.

This is the second time that a midlevel provider bill has been proposed in the state. In 2015, the North Dakota legislature voted down a bill in favor of allowing midlevel providers to practice there.

Why is this important?
Several states are introducing midlevel legislation as a measure to address barriers to dental care issues. It is important to review each bill carefully and speak with key stakeholders to determine how the proposed legislation could affect the patients you serve.

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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