Tonight's webinar teaches the ABCs of advocacy

Join us tonight, November 10, at 7pm Central to understand just how easy it is to get involved with ASDA advocacy. In some cases, it only takes 60 seconds! You will walk away feeling empowered and equipped with the tools to get started advocating for the dental profession today.

Register here

Advocacy Month texts offer weekly chances to win

Have you been receiving our advocacy texts? Every week, ASDA texts out challenges that take less than a minute to complete. Each week is another chance to win prizes! Sign up for texts today. 

Submit your points and earn a custom ASDA advocacy certificate

Advocacy Month is the perfect opportunity to earn lots of points in the Advocacy Certificate Program! Earn points by attending chapter advocacy events, national advocacy webinars like the one on November 10, posting a Molar Bear photo using #ASDAadvocacy, and more. Submit 8 points by Annual Session (Feb. 17, 2023) to earn the custom ASDA advocacy certificate. Learn more here

Apply to get involved with advocacy on a national level

Did you know ASDA has a national Council on Advocacy? Comprised of members from across the country, this national council works on grassroots initiatives to help members understand the importance of advocacy and how to get involved. Applications are available via MyASDA and due by 11:59pm CT on December 12. Learn more here


ASDA urges Senate leaders to consider ELSA before year-end

On October 12, ASDA, along with 12 other organizations urged Senate leaders to include S. 754, the Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act (ELSA) in any package scheduled to be taken up before the end of the year. Congress is currently in its 117th session and will conclude on January 3, 2023. All bills that do not pass before then will start the legislative process over again in the 118th session of Congress. 

ASDA has advocated for this bill since it was originally introduced in February 2019 in the 116th session of Congress. Since then, ASDA has advocated for this bill every year at Lobby Day and launched an ASDA Action campaign so any member can send an email to their legislator urging they support this bill. 

Why does it matter? One in every 33 children in the US is born with a congenital anomaly or birth defect that affects the way they look, develop or function. Specialized surgery is often needed to correct these severe oral and facial defects. ELSA would require private group and individual health insurance plans to cover the medically necessary services to correct these anomalies so children can breathe, speak and eat normally.

Election Reflection

Control of Congress in tight races

During Tuesday’s election, millions of voters across the country cast their ballots determining the makeup of the next United States 118th Congress. This next session will begin on January 3, 2023. Control of Congress came down to a few key battleground states including races in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Ohio, Nevada, and others. As of the morning on November 10, control for both the House of Representatives and Senate was too close to call. Georgia will go to a runoff election on December 6 after neither candidate won more than 50% of the vote. Democrats held slim majorities in both the House and the Senate during the first two years of President Biden’s term, but results of Tuesday’s election could change the dynamic for the last two. 

Five dentists re-elected to Congress

All five dentist members of Congress were re-elected. 

  • Rep. Dr. Brian Babin (R-TX), serving since 2015, received nearly 70% of the votes. 
  • Rep. Dr. Mike Simpson (R-ID), serving since 1999, received 63% of the votes. 
  • Rep. Dr. Drew Ferguson IV (R-GA), serving since 2017, received nearly 69% of the votes. 
  • Rep. Dr. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ), serving since 2019, received 61% of the votes.
  • Rep. Dr. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), serving since 2013, ran unopposed.

Ballot measures affecting dentistry this election season

Voters across the country voiced their opinion on ballot initiatives affecting dentistry. A ballot initiative is a proposed law that is put on the ballot for voter consideration. If the initiative receives enough votes, then it becomes law.

In Massachusetts, citizens voted overwhelmingly in favor of “Question 2,” which was aimed at increasing transparency and accountability from insurance companies. More than 70% of voters responded in favor of “Question 2.” It required dental insurers in the state:

  • Spend at least 83% of patient premium dollars on patient care.
  • Disclose on what they’re spending patient premium dollars, promoting transparency and accountability to patients.
  • Refund individuals/groups if they do not meet the 83% Medical Loss Ratio (MLR).

Thank you to ASDA students in Massachusetts and across District 1 for helping to push this initiative forward! 

In California, voters overwhelmingly upheld a ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products, including vaping with about 62% in support. The ban also outlawed menthol cigarettes in California. Lawmakers first passed the ban in 2020, but the tobacco industry responded by launching a multimillion-dollar campaign to put the initiative to a popular vote.

In South Dakota, voters approved expanding the state’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act with about 56% support. The new program is expected to cover more than 40,000 additional people who previously did not qualify. South Dakota is the seventh Republican-controlled state in the past five years to expand the low-income insurance program on a ballot. 

In Maine, residents of Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, and Southport voted to continue adding fluoride to their public water system. The measure passed with a slim margin of 338 votes.

National opportunities for final-year dental students

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) Dental Public Health Research Fellowship

The three-year fellowship includes a 12-month full-time residency in dental public health, followed by a 24-month full-time postdoctoral fellowship with a strong focus on oral health research. A stipend may be available. Applications are open now through November 21

National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Students to Service Loan Repayment Program

Final-year dental students can apply for up to $120,000 in relief in exchange for a three-year commitment to provide care at an NHSC-approved site in a high-need underserved area. Applications are open now through December 1.


Email with questions. 

ASDAnet | Dental Student Resources | Get Involved | Publications

Facebook  Instagram  YouTube  Web