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. 

Touro - Pasta and Politics event during Advocacy Month

Being a new chapter didn't stop Touro from getting involved in Advocacy Month. The chapter soon formed a committee, chaired by Jillian Grant, to plan advocacy-related events.

In addition to visiting with the Molar Bear and participating in the national Engage challenge, the culmination of Advocacy Month took place at their Pasta and Politics event. The night focused on how students and future dentists can become active advocates for dentistry. Policy influencers Dr. Bhagwati Mistry, the governmental affairs chair at the Ninth District Dental Association, and Jim Schulz, director of governmental affairs at the New Jersey Dental Association, spoke at the event. Dr. Mistry shared how her experience as a pediatric dentist led her to become an advocate for increased coverage for preventative treatment. She spoke candidly about her involvement advocating for legislative changes as a non-politician and conveyed the importance of students doing the same. Schulz detailed his role in bridging the gap between dentists and politicians. He stressed the importance of joining, contributing to and remaining a part of organized dentistry. The combined perspectives gave attendees a clearer understanding of how they could become involved in advocacy. As Dr. Mistry noted, "Advocacy is not just about one issue. It's about how you the dentist, the patient and the politician, come together as a team."

Advocacy Month was just the beginning as Touro's advocacy committee is poised to have more panels and opportunities for policy debate in the future.
Have additional questions about this event? Contact the Council on Advocacy.  
ASDA celebrates 2017 advocacy accomplishments 

2017 was a good year for #ASDAadvocacy. From fighting to preserve the Student Loan Interest Deduction provision to 317 meetings on the Hill during ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day, dental students made their voices heard in Washington. Check out the infographic to see more legislative successes.
from Washington
Community health centers and CHIP receive temporary funding

What's the issue?

On Dec. 21, Congress approved a stopgap spending bill that provides temporary funding for community health centers and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Funding for these programs expired at the end of September. The bill provides $2.8 billion to CHIP and $500 million for community health centers. This gives enough money for the programs to run until March.
As we discussed in the November issue of Advocacy Brief, the House passed a bill to reauthorize CHIP and community health centers earlier, but Democrats didn't approve of how the Republicans were going to pay for the measure. 

Why is this important?

On Oct. 25, ASDA sent a letter to Congressmen Walden and Pallone urging them to extend funding for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), community health centers and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

ASDA understands the importance of these programs to address barriers to care and will continue to advocate for full funding of these programs through 2018 and beyond.

Next Step:

The medical device tax is back
What's the issue?

On Jan. 1, 2018, the 2.3 percent tax on medical devices was reinstated. Congress voted to delay the tax for 2016 and 2017, but failed to address the issue for 2018.

Due to mounting pressure to permanently repeal the tax, Congress may attempt to address it when passing the next spending bill.

Why is this important?

ASDA advocated for the repeal of the medical device tax in 2015. ASDA believes this tax hurts patients through increased costs and reduced access to innovative medical technologies. ASDA will continue this fight until the tax is fully repealed. 

Next Step:

from the states
Montana cuts dental services under Medicaid
What's the issue?

During a special session in November, the Montana state legislature voted to cut $8.9 million in dental services under Medicaid. Since dental coverage for adults is optional under federal law, low-income adults and the disabled will have a harder time receiving the dental treatment they need.

The cuts were in response to Gov. Steve Bullock's request to reduce program spending in order to balance the state's budget.

Why is it important?

These cuts could have a detrimental effect on the elderly and may drive up overall health care costs due to a rise in emergency room visits.

As states struggle with deficits, it is important to share with legislators the importance of these programs and how they can save money in the long term.

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.