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. 

Lobby Day planning with Indiana Dental Association

Collaboration between all levels of the dental profession is important when communicating with legislators about policy needs. This month, the ASDA chapter at Indiana University teamed up with the Indiana Dental Association (IDA) to increase student exposure to advocacy and professional organization efforts. The IDA invited students to their meetings and online group chats to develop a combined student-dentist state lobbying effort. This gives students exposure and insight to the importance and practice of advocacy, and provides a more prominent platform to make their voices heard. As part of this collaboration, students serve on councils in order to better represent their interests at the state level. One council offering a seat to students is the Council on Governmental Affairs. This group serves as the legislative liaison to the ADA, monitors legislative and regulatory proposals and agencies, and facilitates communication between the legislature and the profession. The council also plays a role in promoting and organizing advocacy efforts at both the state and federal level. As Advocacy Month approaches, Indiana ASDA looks forward to making use of these new connections to elevate student interest and involvement in professional advocacy.

Have additional questions about this event? Contact the Council on Advocacy . 
Start preparing for Advocacy Month now

Advocacy Month is back for its second year and better than ever. November is the time to connect with fellow students and learn more about what you can do to advocate for your profession.  

There is a variety of ways to participate this year. Take a picture with ASDA's advocacy mascot, the Advocacy Molar Bear, attend a chapter advocacy event or send an Engage action alert. 

Engaging with advocacy has never been easier. Learn how you can get more involved.
Register now for the Advocacy in Action webinar

Register for the Advocacy in Action webinar on October 12 at 7:30 pm CST. Too many legislative liaisons feel pressure to create the perfect advocacy event that will energize legislative interest in their chapter. This webinar will increase idea-sharing among legislative liaisons when it comes to advocacy-focused chapter events. Learn about Arizona's Pontics and Politics event, Marquette's advocacy videos and Texas-Houston's Advocacy Symposium. The Council on Advocacy hopes you leave this webinar with lots of great resources and the confidence needed to plan your best advocacy event yet.
from Washington
Health Care Updates from Congress

What's the issue?  

September 30 was the deadline to pass a variety of health care proposals we shared with you last month. See below for updates. 

Senators fail to pass Graham-Cassidy bill 

On September 26, Senate Republican leaders announced they would not vote on the Graham-Cassidy bill. As discussed in the last issue of the Advocacy Brief, the bill would dramatically change Medicaid funding. The bill was at least three votes short of passage. Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Rand Paul, MD (R-Ky.) all stated they would oppose the legislation. 

Due to the short timeframe, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was not able to fully score the bill. Initial analysis reveals the bill would reduce the deficit by $133 billion, but leave millions of people without health insurance. 

Since Republicans failed to pass repeal legislation by the September 30 deadline, the Affordable Care Act will be the law for the foreseeable future. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) states: "We haven't given up changing the American health care system."

Congress attempts to address children's health care and insurance stabilization  

Discussions to stabilize insurance markets have resumed after the failure of the Graham-Cassidy bill. 

While Congress is working to make improvements to the Affordable Care Act, President Trump announced that he plans to sign an executive order next week that will rescind some of the health insurance regulations put in place by President Obama.

In addition to addressing insurance markets, Congress needs to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which expired on September 30. States still have enough money to operate until at least December. However, both the Senate and the House are having trouble reaching an agreement to reauthorize the program. 

In the House, the Energy and Commerce Committee passed a bill to reauthorize CHIP and community health centers without bipartisan support.

In the Senate, the Finance Committee passed a bipartisan CHIP reauthorization bill. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) then suggested that the CHIP reauthorization bill and efforts to stabilize the insurance market be included in one bill. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) disagrees and believes CHIP reauthorization should be passed on its own. 

Why is this important?  

The CHIP program provides health insurance to nine million children whose parents earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid. It is important to ensure these children continue to have access to preventive oral health care. Use Engage to reach out to your lawmakers and urge them to reauthorize the program.   

Senate introduces the SUCCEED Act

What's the issue?  

As discussed in the last issue of the Advocacy Brief, President Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and gave Congress six months to pass legislation before he stops renewing permits. DACA allows individuals who were brought into the country illegally as children to defer deportation.  

On September 25, Senator Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) introduced the SUCCEED Act. The bill would cancel the removal of certain individuals that entered the country illegally as children. It is a more conservative approach to granting citizenship. To be eligible, applicants must: 
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Have been in the U.S. since 2012
  • Entered the U.S. before the age of 16 
Under the bill, eligible individuals would have "conditional permanent residence" for ten years before they can apply for a green card. 

On October 8, the Trump administration announced new immigration policy stipulations. These include building a wall along the southern border, reforming the asylum system and harsher penalties for unaccompanied minors who arrive at the border. President Trump shared that these stipulations would need to be included in any legislation addressing the DACA program. 

Why is this important?

The deportation of 800,000 individuals could cost the economy $400 billion. ASDA's blog post, Trump's immigration policies and ASDA, outlines how President Trump's decision to rescind DACA relates to ASDA's E-4 policy on diversity

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.