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. 
West Virginia - Advocacy 101 event during Advocacy Month 

West Virginia ASDA packed their Advocacy Month full of events, including four advocacy presentations on ADPAC, lobbying, licensure reform and sending ASDA Engage alerts. The biggest event of the month was an Advocacy 101 event, where the hot-button issues that ASDA lobbies for were introduced and discussed (licensure reform, reduction in student debt and mid-level providers). This was a great opportunity for the first-year students to explore the issues, ask questions and find out how to get involved. It was helpful to bring students from each class together to have an open discussion about what we can do to fight for these issues in the future. During the month, members also designed and sold shirts to show their Tooth Party pride and raise money to help send students to state and national lobby days. Finally, the Molar Bear's visit was a perfect way to wrap up Advocacy Month, serving as a symbol of how important it is for everyone to be an advocate for the future of this great profession.

Kyla Galbreath, West Virginia '20, is the chapter's all-star legislativ e liaison. Her time away from dental school is spent with her German shepherd (Sam), doing outdoors stuff and working out. Uncle Sam, pictured, is the chapter's puppy politician.
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 of other students and dentists who are eager to make change on Capitol Hill. Throughout three days in Washington D.C., you will attend receptions, network with dentists from your state, hear from prominent speakers and meet with your elected officials.
Talk to your ASDA leaders if you'd like to participate, or you can register on your own. The deadline to register is March 2
Massachusetts dental students lobby for licensure reform
The Massachusetts legislature introduced H. 199, An Act Relative to Dental Licensing Exams. The bill would change the licensing process so that students would no longer be required to perform irreversible procedures on human subjects as part of their licensure exam.

A group of dedicated students took initial steps to advance the bill by sharing testimony on the validity, reliability and ethical issues with the current exam. However over the weekend,
229 students sent letters to encourage State Representative Tackey Chan to report the bill favorably out of committee.

If adopted, this bill could act as a catalyst for other states to introduce similar legislation.  
from Washington
Congress approves short-term spending bill

What's the issue?

On January 22, President Donald Trump signed another short-term spending bill to fund the government through February 8. The bill comes after the government was shut down for two days. The short-term spending bill includes a six-year renewal of funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and a delay to the medical device tax through 2019. The bill does not include long-term funding for community health centers.

Democrats and Republicans have yet to reach a long-term agreement due to disagreements over immigration reform and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Why is this important?

The short-term spending bill included two important victories for dental students and the patients they serve. However, the lack of long-term funding for community health centers is impacting the way patients in need receive care. Several community health center administrators have been forced to close down branches or change the way they staff their centers.

It is important that Congress renew long-term funding for community health centers.   Contact your member of Congress today and urge them to approve funding for this vital program.

Next Steps:

from the states
States look to add Medicaid work requirements 
What's the issue?

On January 11, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) released new guidelines that would allow states to require individuals to be employed in order to be eligible to receive Medicaid benefits.

States can apply for a waiver that would allow them to make these changes. At this point, CMS has approved a waiver for Kentucky; and nine other states have submitted waiver requests. This is a shift from previous administrations that did not make this waiver available.

In Kentucky, consumer health advocates are finalizing a lawsuit to try to stop the state from enforcing the work requirement stating that it undermines the purpose of Medicaid.

Why is it important?

Proponents of the new CMS guidelines believe it gives states flexibility to make improvements to the current Medicaid system. Meanwhile opponents believe it has the potential to reduce access to care to an already underserved population.

If states continue to be granted work requirement waivers, it could have a large impact on how underserved Americans access care. There are still several questions about how implementation of this new requirement will work in Kentucky. It is important to monitor this issue to understand how this could affect the Medicaid patients you serve in your state.

Next Steps:

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.