The Legsislative Ledger

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

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


From Washington, D.C.
Repeal of Health Care Bill Passes House
All House Republicans and three Democratic House members voted to repeal the health care bill signed by President Obama in March 2010. However, this repeal effort is expected to die in the Senate, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid does not plan to take up this measure. Four separate House committees were also directed to draft new health care legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act (WU, 1).

Fighting to Keep the CDC Division of Oral Health

Proposals for the reorganization of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include eliminating the Division of Oral Health, which ADEA, the ADA, and other health organizations strongly oppose. ADEA's efforts are focused on maintaining the CDC's current structure in order to preserve the oral health division (WU, 1).

Committee Assignments for 112th Congress

The Chairmen and Ranking Minority members of several Congressional committees have been recently released to the public. Several committees of interest to the dental community include Appropriations, Budget, Education & Workforce, Energy & Commerce, and Ways & Means (WU, 4-5).
From the States

Medicaid Implements the RAC 

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, states are now required to establish programs to contract with Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs). RACs are entities that will audit Medicaid claims from providers to identify under or overpayment. Implementing the RAC program requires a change to the Medicaid State Plan requiring some states to pass legislation. The proposed regulations would require that Medicaid RACs be paid a contingency fee, set by the state, for the identification and recovery of overpayments (SLR, 1-2).

Update on Dental Hygiene

The Florida Dental Association was successful in defeating the Florida Hygiene Association's expansion of scope of practice bill that would have allowed dental hygienists to work pursuant to public health supervision.

The Oregon Dental Association was successful in defeating legislation that would have allowed Limited Access Permitted Dental Hygienists to administer local anesthesia and place temporary restorations ("scoop and fill") without the supervision of a dentist.

Pennsylvania is now the 43rd state to allow dental hygienists with proper training to apply for a permit to administer local anesthesia but only as authorized by the supervising dentist and only with the direct supervision of a dentist (SLR, 2-3).

For more hygiene updates, click here.
Dental Assistants Updates
Vermont enacted a law that adds one dental assistant and an additional dentist to the board of dental examiners. The board now consists of 6 dentists, 2 dental hygienists, 1 dental assistant, and 2 members of the public.

The Pennsylvania Dental Association was successful in getting a law enacted that increases the scope of practice of Expanded Function Dental Assistants (EFDAs) to include polishing teeth, applying fluoride treatments, and taking impressions for athletic mouth guards, all under dentists' direct supervision.

A newly enacted law in Missouri states that EFDAs must have a permit from the dental board to perform expanded function duties (SLR, 4)

For more dental assistant updates, click here.
"Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well."
In This Issue
-Repeal of Health Care Bill Passes House
-Fighting to Keep the CDC Division of Oral Health
-Committee Assignments for 112th Congress
-Medicaid Implements the RAC
-Update on Dental Hygiene
-Dental Assistants Updates
-Quote of the Month
Eastern Region Spotlight

The Harvard chapter will be hosting an ADPAC dinner during the spring, which will be their first ADPAC event. Good luck in your advocacy efforts!
Central Region Spotlight

Many schools in the Central Region are currently holding ADPAC drives and State Lobby Days. Good luck all month long in your advocacy endeavors!
Western Region Spotlight

Pacific kicked off its ADPAC drive on January 31st. Pacific will be featuring three speakers over the course of the week including ADPAC Vice Chair Dr. Rhett Murray and State Senator Dr. Leland Yee. Way to go Pacific!
Legislative Grassroots Network

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
Jimmy Winterton, UCSF 
Staff Liaison
Meghan Keelean, CMP