from ASDA
Advocacy event spotlight

It's time to stop reinventing the advocacy wheel. Rather than plan an event from scratch, learn from the leaders that have planned successful advocacy events at other chapters. 

District 3 - Red, White and Brew Event

In honor of Advocacy Month, ASDA District 3 hosted its first-ever district-wide advocacy conference, "Red, White and Brew" in Washington, D.C. Approximately 50 members, current dental professionals and special guests from across Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington gathered to dive into #ASDAadvocacy. The purpose of the conference was three-fold: to educate, engage and empower. The conference focused on student debt, licensure reform and mid-level providers. 

ASDA's Advocacy Molar Bear was a special guest at the conference, and students were able to discuss grassroots efforts and share their passion for advocacy. Attendees also engaged in a "Wellness Walk Through Washington," toured the ADA Townhouse and enjoyed our nation's capital.  

Have additional questions about this event? Contact the Council on Advocacy.  
Advocacy Month is here

 The Advocacy Bear has taken ASDA chapters by storm. The Council on Advocacy loves seeing your commitment to grassroots advocacy. Join in on the fun as there are still plenty of ways to participate.

There is still time to register for the webinar on November 9 at 7:30 p.m. CST. ASDA's Council on Advocacy will host a public health dentist, a dental therapist and a community dental health coordinator to provide information on how they address barriers to care. 

Cartoon Contest 

Get creative with politics during ASDA's Advocacy Month. Showcase your artistic skills and share your passion for advocacy by participating in ASDA's political cartoon competition. The contest's theme is dental student debt. ASDA considers the growing student debt crisis a top advocacy priority. We want you to share how this issue affects you. ASDA predoctoral members are encouraged to submit their original cartoon by Nov. 15 to Keely O'Sullivan, senior governance coordinator . Submissions must be high resolution .jpg files. 
ASDA urges Congress to extend funding to key federal programs

On Oct. 25, ASDA sent a letter to Congressmen Walden (R - Ore.) and Pallone (D - N.J.) urging them to extend funding for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), Community Health Centers and the Childhood Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Funding for these programs expired on Sept. 30, and Congress has yet to extend funding for the upcoming year. However, on November 3, the House passed a bill to reauthorize the funding for the CHIP programs for the next five years. The bill now moves to the Senate, but it is unlikely that funding will be approved prior to December. 

Several dental students recently received letters from NHSC stating that the organization has not received funding and cannot guarantee any spots for the coming year. ASDA understands the importance of this program and responded quickly with a letter urging action. 

In the letter President Tanya Sue Maestas states "...millions of Americans affected by barriers to care deserve access to necessary oral health care services. These programs are fundamental to delivering those services."

from Washington
The future of health care 

What's the issue? 

President Trump and Congress cannot agree on how to move forward with the Affordable Care Act. 

Trump ends Obamacare payments

On Oct. 12, President Trump announced he will stop cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments. These are subsidies given to insurers by the federal government to help low-income individuals afford their co-payments. President Trump stated the funding was not appropriated by Congress under the Affordable Care Act and the government cannot lawfully continue to make these payments. Halting CSRs will likely raise premiums by 37 percent making coverage difficult for many Americans to afford. 

States sue Trump over plans to stop CSRs 

On Oct. 13, eighteen states and Washington D.C. filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop President Trump from ending Obamacare payments. States argue that without these subsidies many of their residents would no longer be able to afford health insurance.

On Oct. 25, a federal court ruled in Trump's favor. U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria stated that ending these payments would not cause immediate harm to residents in the states named in the lawsuit. 

Senators Alexander and Murray reach agreement on bipartisan plan to stabilize insurance markets

On Oct. 17, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced a plan that would fund CSRs. The plan would extend payments for the next two years and give states more flexibility to modify Obamacare rules. President Trump and many Republicans seem reluctant to support the plan because it provides funding to insurers without making any changes to Obamacare. 

Republican Senators Hatch and Brady introduce more conservative plan to stabilize insurance markets

On Oct. 24, Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) introduced a bill that would fund CSRs as well as temporarily repeal Obamacare individual and employer insurance mandates. While this bill may have support from more Republicans, Democrats are not likely to support it. 

from the states
Michigan Senate approves midlevel bil

What's the issue? 

On Oct. 11, the Senate voted in favor of legislation that would create dental therapists in Michigan. The bill now moves to the House for consideration. Under the legislation, dental therapists would be able to perform certain irreversible procedures like filling cavities. 

Why is it important? 

As outlined in ASDA's C-2 policy, the dentist is the only dental provider that should perform the following functions: examinations, diagnosis, treatment planning and surgical/irreversible procedures. It is important to monitor pending legislation in order to be prepared if a similar bill is introduced in your state. 

Next Step: 

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.