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.

Loma Linda Lunch and Learn and the power of advocacy 

During fall 2018, Loma Linda hosted a lunch & learn for students regarding ADPAC and the issues that will be advocated during ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day 2019. Special attention was given to the topic of federal student loans and the current financial climate. In attendance were both students and faculty members, including Academic Director Dr. Heidi Christensen. Upon learning about the loan issues students are currently facing, Dr. Christensen approached ASDA chapter Legislative Liaison, D3 student Eric Stratton, asking for recommendations as to how the school's practice management curriculum could be improved. After some discussion and a few short emails, the practice management course directors quickly realized that a curriculum addition was needed and took action based on the suggestion from Eric. As a result, student loan specialist and founder of, Travis Hornsby, was invited to video-lecture for future graduates.

Student loans will be a topic of increasing relevance in upcoming elections. As federal loans mature and loan forgiveness becomes realized, our federal budget will likely see significant demand from the promises made through PAYE, REPAYE and PSLF plans. Loma Linda is committed to educating students and legislators and encouraging them to be a voice for the graduate student community. With this in mind, Loma Linda's Legislative Committee looks forward to making an impact beyond the school at the federal level by lobbying for more transparency in loan applications and other critical changes to ease loan repayment.

Have additional questions about this event? Contact the Council on Advocacy.
Register to attend ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day 

You and your classmates will have the opportunity to join with hundreds o f other students and dentists who are eager to make change on Capitol Hill. Throughout three days in Washington D.C., you will network with dentists from your state, hear from prominent speakers, meet with your elected officials and attend receptions.  

Talk to yo ur ASDA leaders if you'd like to participate, or you can register on your own. The deadline to register is March 15 .

2018-19 Advocacy Certificate Program: it's a wrap! 

Year one of the Advocacy Certificate Program was a success. ASDA members from across the country engaged in advocacy events that strengthened their knowledge and further advanced the rights of dental students. These advocacy all-stars met the established criteria and will receive a custom lapel pin and certificate.

We thank you for engaging with ASDA advocacy this past year. Your efforts are vital to the protection of the profession.

If you are interested in becoming an advocacy expert, keep an eye out for information on the 2019-20 ASDA Advocacy Certificate Program. It begins at the 2019 ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day and ends at the 2020 ASDA Annual Session.

Contact Keely O'Sullivan Kurtz, manager, advocacy and policy, with any questions.
from Washington
Bill introduced to add dental benefit to Medicare

What's the issue? 

On Jan. 3. Senator Bill Cardin (D-Md.) introduced S. 22, Medicare Dental Benefit Act.

The bill would expand Medicare Part B benefits to cover dental and oral health services, including routine cleanings and exams, fillings and crowns, root canals, extractions and emergency dental care, currently not covered under Medicare.

Why is it important?

In October 2018, the ADA adopted a resolution to create an ad hoc committee to study the minimum principles that should be included in potential legislation adding a dental benefit to Medicare. ASDA continues to monitor this issue. 

Next step:

Bill introduced to extend funding for NHSC and other key programs

What's the issue? 

On January 18, Senator Lamar Alexander (R- Tenn.) introduced legislation that would extend funding for Community Health Centers, Teaching Health Centers and the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) through 2024.

On Feb. 1, the ADA sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions thanking them for introducing the bill. ADA President Dr. Jeffrey Cole and ADA Executive Director Dr. Kathy O'Loughlin wrote "community health centers provide necessary care to vulnerable populations, including uninsured individuals and those enrolled in Medicaid. Many community health centers have dental clinics or work with dentists in their communities to ensure that necessary dental services are available to patients seeking care."

Why is it important? 

Currently, 10,900 NHSC members and 1,300 student members provide culturally competent care to underserved populations at more than 5,000 NHSC-approved health care sites in urban, rural and frontier areas. The NHSC loan repayment program and scholarships enable dental students to provide care after graduation in areas that are traditionally underserved.

In 2017, ASDA effectively lobbied to extend funding for NHSC after Congress initially failed to allocate funding for the program in 2018.

Next Step: 

Senate introduces bill to amend McCarran-Ferguson

What's the issue? 

On Feb. 6, Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) introduced S. 350. The bill calls for authorizing the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department to enforce federal antitrust laws against health insurance companies engaged in anticompetitive conduct.

Why is it important? 

ASDA has been advocating for this bill alongside the ADA since 2017. Repeal of the antitrust exemption for health insurance companies would help inject more competition into the insurance marketplace by authorizing greater federal antitrust enforcement in instances where state regulators fail to or cannot act. Promoting lower prices, greater consumer choice, and increased innovation through robust competition is the role of the antitrust laws.

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.