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Students in nation's capital push for legislative change within dentistry

2019 Lobby Day focused on three main topics

Students from West Virginia University School of Dentistry have taken their oral healthcare concerns to the nation’s capital.

The third annual, joint American Dental Association and American Student Dental Association Lobby Day was held April 14-16 in Washington D.C.

Lobby Day is an opportunity for dentists and dental students to meet and network with members of Congress. Our students joined a thousand other professionals advocating to protect and advance dentistry. See photos from their experience online.

“Lobby day is truly like any other ASDA meeting. However, it is so necessary. If we don’t drive dentistry into the future, who will?” asked Makayla Gresham, ASDA distsrict 6 trustee.

Both ADA and ASDA are looking for change in a few main areas including the Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act, the Resident Education Deferment Interest Act (REDI), and the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945.

“I’m excited to storm Capitol Hill with other dentists and dental students to advocate for our profession and our patients,” expressed Gresham, a third-year dental student at WVU.

Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act (ELSA)

Dental professionals are advocating for Congress to pass ELSA. According to the ADA Legislative Action Center, it would help patients with craniofacial anomalies and ensure they have the necessary coverage to restore their ability to function.

Resident Education Deferment Interest Act (REDI)

Students lobbied for legislative support of REDI. The national average of student debt is $287,000 and rising each year. According to ASDA, the bill is similar to the Student Loan Refinancing and Recalculation Act but focuses on interest accrual for physicians and dentists in residency.

McCarran Ferguson Act of 1945

The ADA is calling on Congress to apply federal antitrust laws to the business of insurance by repealing parts of the McCarran-Ferguson Act. Currently, federal law does not prohibit state-regulated health insurers from engaging in collusive practices, such as price fixing, bid rigging and market allocation schemes. This anti-competitive behavior hurts consumers by making health insurance less affordable.

Learn more about 2019 lobby day online.