The Legsislative Ledger

 August 2011
ASDA Advocacy
Eastern Region Chapters
New York State Lobby Day

Students from Stony Brook, Columbia and Buffalo attended the New York State Dental Association (NYSDA) Annual Session June 16-18. Attendees made sure the student voice was heard with a vote in the House of Delegates. Students networked with dentists from all over New York and now understand state-level issues better. They heard candidates for ADA president-elect and were welcomed by NYSDA leaders. The weekend improved the relationship between ASDA chapters and NYSDA. They look forward to working with NYSDA on various projects in the coming year.
Central Region Chapters    
Trustee Burton Coleman, Tennessee '12 has an exciting District 4 Meeting in the works taking place in Charleston, S.C., from Sept. 9-11. He has his sights set on 100 percent ADPAC membership from attendees. District 4, make it happen!
Western Region Chapters    
Spencer Armuth, Las Vegas '14 and Dustin Altmann, Las Vegas '13 have been busy recently. As the legislative liaisons, they have been leading the effort to improve their chapter's relationship with the Nevada Dental Association (NDA). Las Vegas organized the school's first State Lobby Day in tandem with the NDA earlier this year. The state assembly only meets every two years, so the chapter is working on a lobbying plan for the off years. They are also working to get voting rights at the NDA meetings so students are heard.
From Washington, D.C.

Make the Nation's Health Care Workforce a Priority 

Senate Labor, Health and Human Services Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL) received a letter from 21 Democrats supporting the president's FY 2012 budget request of $449.5 million for the Title VII Health Professionals Programs. Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) and 54 Democrats in the House expressed the same support. Approval of the budget would increase funding by $177 million over FY 2011, with increases to primary care medicine, geriatrics, public health and preventative medicine. Democrats say the increased funding will improve patient care, create jobs and grow the economy (WU, 1). 

ADEA Says No to Eliminating In-School Interest Subsidy

ADEA and other higher education organizations expressed opposition to the removal of in-school interest subsidy on federal Stafford loans for graduate and professional students. The proposed cuts originate from the president's FY 2012 budget request for the U.S. Department of Education. If the cuts are approved, graduate students' current financial burden will grow (WU, 3).

From the States

Mississippi Dental Association and Insurance Department Work Together on Issues 

Mississippi Dental Association (MDA) members called for change to improve dental plans, and the MDA responded by forming a task force to work out plans for action with the Mississippi Insurance Department. The conclusion focuses on the state following existing dental/health benefit laws and a standardized way to collect and report dental insurance challenges from the MDA to the Insurance Department (SLR, 1-2).

Water Fluoridation

A new Arkansas law requires all community water systems reaching 5,000 people or more meet the state recommended fluoride levels. Tennessee wants ten days notice for all water systems choosing to stop their fluoridation program and to notify all customers 30 days prior to the cut. Illinois has a new law to conform to the pending U.S. Health and Human Services department's proposed fluoridation levels for optimal oral health benefits of 0.7 ppm (SLR, 2-3). 

Medicaid Reimbursement for Dental Professionals

Under a bill signed by the governor, MaineCare will reimburse independently practicing dental hygienists. In Michigan, a proposed measure would allow dental hygienists to be directly reimbursed for their provided care. Under a bill in Illinois waiting the governor's approval, the state would create an incentive program for dentists who participate and provide services for Medicaid, CHIP and Covering ALL KIDS Health Insurance programs (SLR, 4).

Quote of the Month

"The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been."  

---- Henry Kissinger 

Some information published in this newsletter is credited to the ADEA Washington Update (WU) and the ADA  State Legislative Report (SLR).
In This Issue
-Eastern Region Chapters
-Central Region Chapters
-Western Region Chapters
-Make the Nation's Health Care Workforce a Priority
-ADEA Says No to Eliminating In-School Interest Subsidy
-Mississippi Dental Association and Insurance Department Work Together
-Water Fluoridation
-Medicaid Reimbursement
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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