The country has elected new leaders. As dental student advocates, it is important to learn about these lawmakers to have a better understanding of how to work with them over the next two-six years.
House of Representatives
Democrats will regain the majority in the 116th Congress with 223 representatives to 197 Republican representatives with twelve races yet to be called. Five dentists were elected to Congress, including the first Democrat dentist, Dr. Jeff Van Drew.
- Rep. Mike Simpson will serve an eleventh term in Idaho's 2nd Congressional District.
- Rep. Paul Gosar was elected to serve a fifth term in Arizona's 4th District.
- Rep. Brian Babin was elected to serve his third term in Texas' 26th District.
- Rep. Drew Ferguson was reelected to a second term in Georgia's 3rd District.
- Dr. Jeff Van Drew was elected to serve his first term in New Jersey's 2nd District.
ASDA celebrates legislative accomplishments
Action for Dental Health Act
On October 11, the Senate unanimously passed the Action for Dental Health Act. Next, the bill will head to the House for reconciliation. As detailed in the June issue of the Advocacy Brief, the bill would allow organizations to qualify for oral health grants administered by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
This is a significant legislative victory for ASDA. Once passed, the bill has the opportunity to reduce barriers to care for patients in your state.
SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act
On October 24, President Trump signed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act into law. As discussed in the September issue of Advocacy Brief, the bill authorizes research, grants and other programs to combat the opioid crisis.
This is another important win for ASDA. While the bill includes several principles ASDA and the ADA advocated for during ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day, ASDA will continue to work with Congress to help address this crisis.