The Legsislative Ledger

 February 2012
ASDA Advocacy
Register for National Dental Student Lobby Day

Make a difference! Join other dental students in Washington, D.C. for National Dental Student Lobby Day, April 16-17. Advocate for your profession as you meet with members of Congress to talk about dental legislation. Talk to your ASDA chapter leaders to get registered. More information is available here.
Virginia Holds Advocacy Week
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) held their second annual advocacy week in January. They kicked it off with coffee and donuts on Monday for a caffeinated and sugary start to their ADPAC week. Tuesday followed with an ADPAC lunch & learn and then an ASDA sponsored lunch & learn on Wednesday. VCU students learned how to lobby and went over talking points to lobby in Richmond, Va., on Thursday. The week concluded with a wine, beer and cheese tasting social with Richmond Delegate Carr. 
Connecticut Students Attend Fundraiser
Five University of Connecticut students attended a fundraiser for the Connecticut Senate Republicans leadership sponsored by the Connecticut Dental Political Action Committee. They enjoyed the opportunity to talk in a personal and relaxed atmosphere with local legislators and involved dentists. The senators seemed especially interested in hearing about life as a dental student and factors influencing our post-graduate decisions.
UNLV Getting Involved
University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) is planning for an ADPAC drive and has invited the ADPAC district trustee to speak at their chapter. They are at the forefront of teaching their members the importance of being involved and influencing dental policy. UNLV ASDA is also working with other organizations to address a law that protects dentists, but not dental students, from a violent attack by a patient. They are working to incorporate professional school students of all backgrounds to be included in this law, protecting the safety of Nevada students.
From the States

Year in Review

2011 in Washington was a contentious year filled with political gridlock and Congressional approval ratings at an all time low. It was a difficult climate to advocate for the sciences, public health and higher education. As with every year, there were successes and challenges but much was accomplished.


A big success was the introduction of the Breaking Barriers to Oral Health Care Act of 2011 by Representative Mike Simpson (R-ID). This comprehensive bill aims to address the key issues facing the modern dental patient and would increase the quality of care for many patients. 


Some other key issues:

  • Legislation was passed to include dentists and dental facilities in the federal disaster response framework.
  • Opposition to many austerity measures including eliminating the Division of Oral Health in the CDC, funding cuts to the Medicare Graduate Medical Education Program and cuts in Federal Stafford loans for graduate and professional students. (WU)
From the States

Dental Benefit Program Update and Health Care Reform Status

Federal rules have been adopted to govern how the provisions of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be applied. A major regulation adopted will require health insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of consumers' premiums on medical care as opposed to income, overhead and marketing expenses. If an insurance company fails to meet this regulation they will be forced to offer rebates to their consumers (SLR, 2-3)

Non-covered Services

Twenty four states introduced legislation to limit the ability of dental benefit plans to cap fees for non-covered services provided by a contracting dentist. Ten of these states enacted their laws this year. Now over half of all states have non-covered services legislation after only two years of campaigning to achieve these policies (SLR, 3). 

Dental Contract Disclosure

A new Minnesota law requires dental organizations to disclose any changes in terms or amendments to contracts at least 90 days before the proposed change. The same law also defines how a dental organization can audit a dental provider. The dental organization must give the provider written notice as to the reason of the audit, how it will go about the audit of patient charts, and how the provider should proceed after the audit is concluded (SLR, 3-4). 

Quote of the Month

"Don't find fault, find a remedy."  

---- George Eliot

Some information published in this newsletter is credited to the
ADEA Washington Update (WU) and the ADA State Legislative Report (SLR).
In This Issue
-Register for Lobby Day
-Virginia Holds Advocacy Week
-Connecticut Students Attend Fundraiser
-UNLV Getting Involved
-Year in Review
-Health Care Reform Status
-Non-covered Services
-Dental Contract Disclosure
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 Dean, Washington '12

Staff Liaison
Meghan Keelean, CMP