November 2017 Volume LIII Number 6

 
 
 
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Legislative and Regulatory Update

May 2017 Volume LII Number 3

Unless otherwise noted, for further information on any of these issues please contact Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel C. Scott Litch at (312) 337-2169 or slitch@aapd.org.

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


On March 6-8, 2017, over 230 AAPD members from 34 states plus D.C., 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 Com- mittee. Twenty-five AAPD state Public Policy Advocates participated as well. Attendees heard updates on key AAPD public policy issues focusing on Title VII pediatric dentistry funds and pediatric oral health provisions related to the Affordable Care Act. Thirty-five pe- diatric dentistry residency programs were represented with over 140 residents in attendance. For the second year, the AAPD held a special pre-conference advocacy orientation training session for residents.

The AAPD PAC hosted a fundraiser for new Congressman (and dentist) Drew Ferguson (R-Ga. 3rd). The event, co-sponsored with AD-PAC, AAOMS PAC and Hogan Lovells PAC, raised approxi- mately $20,000.

The AAPD PAC Legislator of the Year Award was presented to Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). Senator Blunt is chair of the Labor- HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee, which has jurisdic- tion over Title VII funding along with all other programs funded by the Department of Health and Human Services. The Senator was not able to attend in person but sent a personalized video greeting that was introduced by his Legislative Assistant for health issues, Desiree Mowry.

The specific advocacy requests made by attendees during Capitol Hill visits were:

Provide FY 2018 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. This will support continuation of dental faculty loan repayment program awards, postdoctoral and predoctoral awards, plus a new dental faculty loan repayment grant cycle. Retain authorizing language as provided in the Affordable Care Act.

To assure that children receive the oral health care they need, and based on experience to date under the ACA, the AAPD makes the following recommendations:

a) Any required health insurance coverage for children should include pediatric oral health coverage, either through an appropriately structured stand-alone dental plan (SADP) or embedded medical plan.
b) Preventive dental services should have first dollar coverage, meaning they should be exempt from cost sharing (deductibles or co-pays) in embedded medical plans and SADPs. Embedded plans should have separate dental deductibles.
c) The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which has required pediatric dental coverage, should be reauthorized.
d) Any changes to Medicaid should preserve the existing require- ment for oral health services for children up to age 21 while lessening financial and administrative burdens in the program.

This year’s PPAC had additional drama as it coincided with the release of the Republican draft ACA repeal and replacement plan.

The fact sheets used in Congressional visits are available on the AAPD website at www.aapd.org/advocacy/legislative_and_regulatory_fact_sheets/.

We thank all those members who took time from their busy schedules to attend this important conference.

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