Virtual ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day was a success

More than 580 dental students and dentists came together to advocate for the profession.
On Sunday, April 25 attendees participated in a full day of training culminating in a keynote session with Amanda Becker and Errin Haines from 'The 19th,' an independent, nonprofit newsroom that covers issues related to gender, politics and policy.
On Wednesday, April 28 students and dentists met with members of Congress to discuss bills that would:   
  • Ease the burden of student debt
  • Provide COVID-19 relief to dental practitioners
  • Reduce barriers to care for patients with congenital anomalies and birth defects
If you weren't able to participate in Lobby Day, you can still help advance these issues by sending pre-populated messages to members of Congress through ASDA's advocacy alert system: ASDA Action.
It only takes a few minutes and will help to demonstrate the strong support for these critical issues.
Coming next Month: Advocacy Brief Challenge

Beginning in June, each issue of the Advocacy Brief will feature a unique challenge to earn points towards your Advocacy Certificate. Ranging from posting on social media to completing an advocacy focused crossword, don't miss out on completing the monthly challenge!
FROM Washington
Bill introduced to improve licensure portability

The issue: On April 13, Rep. Mike Garcia introduced the Military Spouse Licensing Relief Act. Senator Mike Lee introduced the companion bill in the Senate. The bill would give military spouses professional licensure reciprocity to practice in a state where their spouse is stationed on military orders, as long as they hold a valid professional license in one state.

Why is this important? ASDA supports efforts to increase licensure portability. Dentists who are married to military personnel would be able to practice in any state without the administrative and economic burdens that come with obtaining licensure in multiple states.

NHSC Program deadline extended

The issue: The deadline to apply for the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program has been extended to May 27 at 7:30 p.m. EST.

As part of the Biden administration's stimulus package, the Health Resources and Services Administration received $800 million in new funding to support, recruit and retain qualified health professionals through the National Health Service Corps and Nurse Corps programs. 

Dentists can receive up to $50,000 for working in an NHSC approved health shortage area for two years.

Why is this important? Additional NHSC funding creates more opportunities for recent graduates to reduce their burden of student debt while helping patients in need. ASDA continues to advocate for increased NHSC funding to allow for as many recent graduates as possible to take advantage of this opportunity.

FROM the States
Licensure Legislative Updates

The issue: In our last issue, we discussed bills increasing licensure portability that were moving through state legislatures.

On April 21, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly signed a bill that would increase licensure portability in the state by allowing licensed professionals who have held a license for a year in other states to obtain a license in Kansas.
Why is this important? Currently five states have adopted similar legislation indicating a possible trend in licensure portability laws. It is important to monitor states that address licensure portability to assist with reform efforts in the future.
Colorado and Maine bills address dental coverage

The issue:

In Colorado, the General Assembly voted to send SB 211 to Gov. Jared Polis' office. The bill would repeal the state's $1,000 cap on adult dental services provided through Medicaid that was implemented in 2020 when the state was facing a budget shortfall.

In Maine, the legislature is reviewing a proposal that would expand preventative dental coverage to around 70,000 adults under MaineCare. Currently adults only have access to emergency dental care under MaineCare.
Why is this important? As listed in ASDA's H-2 policy, the association supports evidence-based solutions to reduce barriers to care like Medicaid expansion.
Wisconsin Senate votes on midlevel provider bill 

The issue:

On April 14, the Wisconsin Senate passed SB 181. The bill will allow dental therapists to practice in either a federally defined dental shortage area or in practice settings where at least 50 percent of patients belong to specific underserved populations.
Why is this important? Currently eight states allow dental therapists to practice statewide with an additional four states allowing dental therapists to practice on tribal lands.
As listed in ASDA's C-2 policy, ASDA believes the dentist is the only provider who should perform the following: diagnosis and treatment planning, prescribing work authorizations, performing surgical/irreversible dental procedures, prescribing drugs and or other medications.
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.