The Legsislative Ledger

Legislative News for Members of the American Student Dental Association 
January 2011

This e-newsletter is sent to members of ASDA.
Information published in this newsletter is credited to the ADA State Legislative Report (SLR).

Greetings!  

National Dental Student Lobby Day
Have a voice, make a difference, and become involved while lobbying for your profession this year at National Dental Student Lobby Day. Future legislation has the power to affect dentistry in many areas and it is important for your voice to be heard. At National Dental Student Lobby Day, you will have the opportunity to attend training on important dental legislation and meet with members of Congress to lobby the issues. Make sure your voice is heard! National Dental Student Lobby Day is scheduled for Monday, March 28 - Tuesday, March 29, 2011. Registration is now open. Click here for information.
LGN Website and Handbook
Spend a moment browsing the LGN portion of the ASDA website. Links to information on the LGN, its organization and role in dentistry, as well as the LGN's current activities can be found. Click here for contact information of all the current LGN members.

Check out the newly revised LGN handbook. The LGN handbook can be used as a resource to answer many questions you may have about legislative activities at your school and how to plan lobby days, ADPAC drives and Meet and Greets. The overall structure of the LGN and the responsibilities of each position are explained within the handbook. Information on ADPAC including how to plan a successful ADPAC drive and ADPAC lunch and learns can also be found. The LGN handbook is a great resource for increasing dental advocacy!

From Washington, D.C.
NCOIL Adopts Model Act Banning Non-Covered Service Fees
The National Conference of Insurance Legislators voted in favor of a model act prohibiting insurance companies from setting fees for non-covered dental services. This was a positive step for dentistry, as it sent a strong message that fees for non-covered services should not be capped. (SLR, 1-2).
From the States
Report Released on Alaska DHAT Program
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation released a case study report regarding the work of 5 Alaska Dental Health Aide Therapists (DHATs). While the authors acknowledge the small sample size, the study concluded no safety issues arose when DHATs provided dental care. The ADA notes that the report omitted critical information about the patients and the economic impact of DHATs. Washington, New Mexico, Kansas, Ohio, and Vermont will be launching a project to expand dental therapy within those states in the near future. (SLR, 2-3)
Dental Benefit Updates
Several states have pending bills and new laws regarding dental insurance. New York and Pennsylvania each have bills that would require dental insurers to cover anesthesia and associated medical costs for hospital-based dental procedures. In Maine, a new law requires group dental insurance polices to allow dependent children to be enrolled in the dental plan anytime between birth to 30 days old along with any open enrollment period. This prevents one particular plan from preventing child enrollment until age 4. Additional information is available in the SLR on the pending and enacted legislation in Arizona, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Connecticut and Maryland. (SLR, 4)
"The man who does not read books has no advantage over the man that can not read them."
Mark Twain
In This Issue
-National Dental Student Lobby Day
-LGN Website and Handbook
-NCOIL Adopts Model Act Banning Non-Covered Service Fees
-Report Released on Alaska DHAT Program
-Dental Benefit Updates
-Quote of the Month
Eastern Region Spotlight

New York-based Allcare Dental has shut down 52 nationwide offices due to financial problems. After 200 consumer complaints, Allcare was the target of an investigation by the NY State Attorney General. For additional information, click here
Central Region Spotlight

Virginia Commonwealth will be holding their first ever Advocacy week this month. The week includes an ADPAC drive, legislative lunch and learns, and concludes with state lobby day. Good luck advocating!
Legislative Grassroots Network

Chair
Brittany Bensch, Washington
Vice Chair
Natalia Sanchez, UConn
Regional Legislative Coordinators
Ehlie Bruno, Buffalo
Stephanie Vlahos, Virginia
Mark Hower, UCLA
District Trustees
Steve Boss, Columbia
Michael Backer, Midwestern
Member-at-Large
Jimmy Winterton, UCSF 
Staff Liaison
Meghan Keelean, CMP