May 2019 Volume LIV Number 3


Public Policy Advocacy for Children’s Oral Health

July 2016 Volume LI Number 4

The AAPD continues to vigorously advocate for critical issues impacting children’s oral health care. The 2016 Legislative and Regulatory Priorities, as developed by the Council on Government Affairs and approved by the board of trustees, are available on the AAPD website at

Public Policy Advocacy Conference (PPAC) in Washington, D.C.

On April 4-6, 2016, over 240 AAPD members advocated for children’s oral health in Washington, D.C., by visiting with their members of Congress. AAPD attendees included members of the Council on Government Affairs, PAC Steering Committee, Executive Committee and Budget and Finance Committee. Attendees participated in an AAPD PAC event and heard updates on key AAPD public policy issues such as Title VII pediatric dentistry training funds, and the need for ACA amendments related to the pediatric oral health benefit. They advocated for these issues in their Capitol Hill visits. 30 pediatric dental residency programs were represented, with over 130 residents in attendance. A new feature added to PPAC this year was a special orientation and advocacy training session for residents. We also featured the world premiere of an AAPD-produced demonstration video on a good vs. bad Congressional visit. The AAPD PAC hosted a fund-raiser for U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

The specific advocacy requests were:

Provide FY 2017 funding of $35.873 million for the HRSA Title VII Primary Care Dental Training Cluster and related oral health programs, with not less than $10 million for Pediatric Dentistry Training programs—including continuation of new dental faculty loan repayment program awards made in FY 2016 and postdoctoral and predoctoral awards made in FY 2015.

To promote children’s oral health and assure that children receive the oral health care they need, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) should be amended to:

a. Make pediatric oral health coverage mandatory for families with children, either through an appropriately structured stand-alone dental plan (SADP) or embedded medical plan.

b. Exempt preventive dental services from any cost sharing (deductibles or co-pays) in embedded medical plans and SADPs, and require separate dental deductibles in embedded plans.

c. Include any separate dental premium cost under the calculation of a tax subsidy for low income families.

The fact sheets used in Congressional visits are available on the AAPD website at: .

Additional details about these issues are provided below. We thank all those members who took time from their busy schedules to attend this important conference.

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