The Legsislative Ledger

 August 2012
ASDA Advocacy
ASDA Hires Advocacy Staff
Andrew Smith, ASDA's governance and advocacy manager, started at the central office on Wednesday, July 18. In this new position, Andrew will monitor legislative and regulatory activities and manage ASDA's advocacy initiatives. He will work with the Legislative Grassroots Network to provide information and resources to chapters in response to developments on the federal and state level affecting dentistry. Andrew has prior experience in association management and government affairs in his past positions. He holds a master's degree in public administration and a bachelor's degree in organizational communication. We're excited to welcome Andrew to the ASDA team!
He can be reached at ASmith@ASDAnet.org
ASDA Members Testify in California

Danielle Marquis, Pacific '13, District 11 trustee, and Ben Hellickson, Pacific '14, chapter president, testified at the California State Assembly committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protector, regarding senate bill 694. Danielle and Ben spoke in opposition to the legislation, as it includes a provision to fund a study of non-dentists (hygienists and assistants) performing surgical and irreversible procedures. ASDA's C-1 policy states that only dentists should perform irreversible procedures and S.B. 694 violates that policy.

From the States
Fluoridation Activity Increasing
Since January 2011, 43 states have had legislative activity concerning fluoride. Currently, 74.8 percent of the nation is fluoridated, but the ADA expects that to decline due to this increased opposition to maintaining proper fluoride levels and budget shortfalls. Most of the times and places that fluoridation has become an issue is due to a vocal minority protesting the issue, but it is increasingly due to budgetary issues and an ailing economy. This is a local issue, often occurring at the municipality level, but the ADA has been successfully using its State Public Affairs (SPA) program, now active in 21 states, to increase participation in state and local legislative issues. To read more in depth about the fluoride activity nationally, click here.
CMS Ruling Saves Dentists from Required Inclusion in Medicare

As passed in 2010, the Affordable Care Act included a provision that would have required providers who refer Medicare patients to sign up for the federal program through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The ADA objected to this rule, arguing that, "dentists do not routinely order Medicare-covered durable medical equipment or services" and CMS would be putting an undue burden on dentists by requiring registration. The CMS officials agreed with the ADA in their ruling and have specifically exempted dentists' referrals to specialists from the provision. Dentists will still be required to enroll in the program if referring a Medicare patient for reimbursable lab work, ordering durable medical equipment, or for imaging or home health. The ADA had also asked for exemption from these requirements but that request was declined. Click here for more. 

Drug Shortage Legislation Passed into Law

A measure to reauthorize and amend the Food and Drug Administration's Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), the program that helps fund the FDA's other drug approval programs by charging drug companies fees, was included in S. 3187 Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act. It passed the Senate on May 24, passed the House with changes on June 26, and was signed into law on July 9. The bill includes various methods of preventing drug shortages including requiring manufacturers to provide advance notification of plans to discontinue production and it requires the FDA to maintain a list of drugs in shortage, the reasons why they occurred, when the shortage will likely be resolved, what could be done to prevent it from happening again, and to expedite the review of new drug applications. A coalition led by AAOMS (and including the ADA) successfully lobbied for removal of provisions that would have regulated all hydrocodone-containing compounds as Schedule II drugs and that would have required premarket approval for all "oral facial devices" that are custom made in the dental office.   

Visit the ADA Advocacy webpage to learn more. 

Legislation to Eliminate Medical Device Tax
from Affordable Care Act Passes House
On June 7, the US House of Representatives voted 270 to 146 to repeal the tax on medical devices contained in the ACA. H.R. 436 Health Care Cost Reduction Act would eliminate the tax by allowing unused balances in flexible spending accounts to be returned to the account holder, allow some health savings accounts to be used to pay for OTC meds, and getting rid of limits on the amounts on the amounts repaid by taxpayers who used exchanges to purchase health insurance. It is questionable about whether or not the bill will be able to navigate through the Senate and President Obama has vowed to veto it if it reaches his desk. According to govtrack.com, H.R. 436 currently has 240 co-sponsors. (ADEA Washington Update pg 8)
Please view the ADEA Washington Update for more information on these topics.
In This Issue
- New Advocacy Staff
- Testimony in California
- Flouridation Activity Increasing
- CMS Ruling on Medicare Inclusion
- Drug Shortage Legislation
- Legislation on Medical Device Tax
Legislative Grassroots Network

Chair
Ian Murray, Western '13

ADPAC Student Director 
Ross Isbell, Alabama '14

Districts 1-3 Legislative Coordinator:
Chrissy Shaw, Connecticut '14

Districts 4-5 Legislative Coordinator:   
Phil Bell, Florida '14

Districts 6-7 Legislative Coordinator:
Ashley Ginsberg, Illinois '14 

Districts 8-9 Legislative Coordinator:   
Emily Tschetter, Nebraska '14


Districts 10-11 Legislative Coordinator:  
Spencer Armuth, Las Vegas '14


Staff Liaison
Andrew Smith, MPA


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