The Legsislative Ledger

 July 2011
ASDA Advocacy
Eastern Region Chapters    
Pittsburgh ASDA Chapter at PDA
On June 14, students from three Pennsylvania dental schools heard the Pennsylvania Dental Association President Dennis Charlton, Representatives Stan Saylor, Tina Davis, Mark Cohen and Jim Marshall address the public supporting the legislation discussed with legislators that day. The students enjoyed learning about the issues in their state and developed skills for working with legislators in the future.
Central Region Chapters    
UIC attended its state lobby day, the ISDS Capital Conference, in April. A record number of ASDA UIC members accounted for nearly 10 percent of attendees. The UIC chapter also had record ADPAC membership this past year with 101 members, or 30 percent of the student body.
Western Region Chapters    
Eleven Southern California students attended California dental student lobby day in Sacramento this summer. ASDA members traveled more than over six hours each way to represent the student voice. This chapter is also planning an ADPAC drive in the fall and is excited to talk to students about the importance of one political voice.
From the States

Workforce Issue Update

The Pew Children's Dental Health Campaign released its second annual report card on The State of Children's Dental Health: Making Coverage Matter. See how your state did here.


On May 27, the dental board of Missouri became the first state board to endorse the concept of dental therapists and advanced dental hygiene practitioners. The Missouri Dental Association (MDA) testified in opposition to the proposal. The state legislature has adjourned for 2011. The MDA is continuing their efforts against this proposal by contacting both legislative and agency leaders to teach them the drawbacks of the model (SLR, 1-2). 

Medicaid Issues 

According to a recent survey, states will only have about $2.8 billion in federal stimulus money to balance their budgets in the coming year. This is a huge cut from the $51 billion they had this year and the $60.7 billion they had last year. Added to this large cut in funding, states are still required to maintain eligibility standards for state Medicaid.


The pressure on states in the coming year will be great as they manage three challenges: stumpy revenues as enhanced federal dollars expire; adherence to maintenance of effort requirements; and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' scrutiny over states' support of adequate Medicaid system.


Missouri has the authority to carve out dental services from the Medicaid budget. The benefits of a carve out are it vastly reduces the complexity of the Medicaid program and it allows for a dedicated source of funding for dental benefits in Medicaid. This results in more money going to care delivery over administrative costs (SLR, 2-4).

Financial Problems 

The largest dental insurance provider in Washington announced it would be cutting reimbursement rates by 15 percent or more starting June 15, 2011 (SLR, 5). 

Non-covered Services Update

Twenty-five states have filed bills to prevent dental plans from limiting what participating dentists charge for services the plans do not cover (SLR, 6).

Quote of the Month

"I hope our wisdom will grow with our power and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be."  

---- Thomas Jefferson 

Some information published in this newsletter is credited to the ADA  State Legislative Report (SLR).
In This Issue
-Eastern Region Chapters
-Central Region Chapters
-Western Region Chapters
-Workforce Issue Update
-Medicaid Issues
-Financial Problems
-Non-covered Services Update
Legislative Grassroots Network

Veena Vaidyanathan, Pacific '12

Vice Chair
Aruna Rao, Minnesota '12

Regional Legislative Coordinators
Namrata Gupte, Tufts '12
Crystal Ammori, Michigan '13
Aaron Bumann, Minnesota '13

District 9 Trustee
Emily Moers, San Antonio '14

Vice President
Brittany Bensch, Washington '12

Staff Liaison
Meghan Keelean, CMP
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