National Legislation and Legislation in Other States


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ADA 2018 Lobbying Highlights

In Congress

ADA President Chad P. Gehani visits D.C.

Recently after taking office as president of the ADA, Dr. Gehani visited Washington, D.C. for policy briefings. He met with four members of Congress who are also dentists. In addition to Rep. Mike Simpson R-, Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., and Rep. Jeff Van Drew, D-N.J. The fifth dentist member, Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-Ga., was unable to attend, but his chief of staff, David Sours joined the discussion about legislation important to dentistry.

Dr. Gehani and the lobbying team also met with the White House’s Domestic Policy Council to discuss McCarran-Ferguson reform. Additionally, Dr. Gehani also met with Rear Adm. Timothy L. Ricks, chief dental officer for the U.S. Public Health Service, and Dr. James Taylor, chief dental officer in the Public Health Agency of Canada. They discussed community water fluoridation in their respective countries as well as ways to improve access to dental care.

[Contact: Chris Tampio 202-789-5178 or]

Over-the-Counter Drug Safety, Innovation, and Reform Act of 2019

The ADA expressed its support for the Over-the-Counter Monograph Safety, Innovation, and Reform Act of 2019 (S. 2740¬) in a letter to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. In the letter, the ADA urged the committee to vote favorably so that the entire Senate can help modernize the Food and Drug Administration’s drug monograph approval process.

This bill will modernize the way over-the-counter medications are regulated and brought to market. The reforms aim to protect public health and encourage the development of new products to better meet the needs of patients.

Last week, the HELP Committee approved eight bipartisan public health bills, including the Over-the-Counter Monograph Safety, Innovation and Reform Act of 2019.

[Contact: Natalie Hales 202-898-2404 or]


The Organized Dentistry Coalition sent a letter of support to the House Committee on Education and Labor asking them to support student loan reform legislation that would alleviate some of the debt dental students face after graduation. HR 3418, introduced by Rep. Judy Chu (D- CA), the Protecting Our Students by Terminating Graduate Rates that Add to Debt Act, known as the POST GRAD Act, would reinstate eligibility for graduate and professional students, including dental students, with financial need to receive Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans. Currently, these loans are only available to undergraduate students. In the letter, the coalition told the committee that 85% of new dentists are starting their careers owing more than $287,000 in student loan debt, according to the American Dental Education Association’s annual survey of dental students.

[Contact: Megan Mortimer 202-898-2402 or]

Medical device tax

Over 600 innovators, patient groups, physicians, hospitals, venture capitalists and other stakeholders representing millions of patients and hundreds of thousands medical technology jobs, sent a letter to Congressional leadership requesting that Congress prioritize repeal of the medical device excise tax before it causes any more harm. While the medical device tax was in effect, it had an adverse impact on research and development investment and job creation, jeopardizing the U.S. position as a global leader in medical device innovation.

The Senate and House have both previously passed repeal legislation with strong bipartisan majorities, and now the extensive list of supporters request timely action on legislation to put a permanent end to the punitive excise tax before the current suspension expires on December 31, 2019.

[Contact: Megan Mortimer 202-898-2402 or]

Anti-Vaping Efforts Continue

The ADA sent a letter of support to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health in support of H.R. 2339, the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019. The bill, introduced by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), would require that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implement graphic health warnings for cigarette packages and regulate the vaping products under the Tobacco Control Act in the same manner as cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. The bill would also raise the minimum age for purchasing non-tobacco nicotine products to age 21. The ADA publicly expressed its opposition to any use of oral tobacco, including vaping nicotine from e-cigarettes, and urged people using any type of tobacco product to quit.

[Contact: Natalie Hales 202-898-2404 or or Robert J. Burns 202-789-5176 or]

Statement for the Congressional Record

The ADA offered condolences Oct. 17, following the news that Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a long serving member of Congress and oral health advocate, had died. Rep. Cummings was the co-chair of the Oral Health Caucus and was dedicated to increasing awareness of oral health care and funding dental research. Rep. Cummings knew that greater access to dental care needed to include education and awareness and made it a priority to help initiate Maryland’s first statewide oral health literacy campaign. Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, who was Rep. Cummings’ co-chair in the Oral Health Caucus, submitted the Association’s statement as part of the official Congressional record.

[Contact: Jennifer Fisher 202-789-5160 or]




Federal Agencies

HRSA comments on rural health

The ADA submitted comments to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) on rural health care services. The ADA’s concerns about the way that HRSA designates dental health professional shortage areas (HPSAs) were outlined as incorrectly defined and unlikely to help patients in need improve the access necessary in those improperly measured and outdated. The ADA’s Health Policy Institute provided a more responsive approach to determine dental access shortage areas. Also, the recommendations offered included other factors important to consider to help identify core health services and different needs in rural communities.

[Contact: Roxanne Yaghoubi 202-789-5179 or]

DEA-SORS registration

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced a new centralized database called the Suspicious Orders Report System (SORS) that will be required to help report suspicious prescribing of controlled substances. The SORS Online system should only be used by DEA registrants that distribute controlled substances to other DEA registrants. Previously, only manufacturers and distributors were required to report suspicious orders. The Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act “SUPPORT Act” requires that all DEA registrants that distribute controlled substances report suspicious orders to SORS Online. Practitioners who are not distributing/selling controlled substances to other DEA registrants are not required to report anything to SORS Online.

[Contact: Robert J. Burns 202-789-5176 or]




Other States

A new law in California only allows dental carriers to lease their dental network or grant access to services or discounts in the provider network contract if dentists are allowed to choose not to participate in the lease and the contract specifically states that the network/dentist may be leased.  All third parties leasing the network as of the date the provider network contract is entered into must be identified.  Additional transparency requirements apply. All written or electronic remittance advices or explanations of payment under which a discount is taken must identify the source of the discount.