July 2019 Volume LIV Number 4

 
 
 
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Legislative and Regulatory Update

July 2019 Volume LIV Number 4

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.
 
FEDERAL NEWS
 
CONGRESSIONAL DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER IN SUPPORT OF TITLE VII PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY FUNDING
 
One of the key advocacy requests made by attendees at the 2019 AAPD Pediatric Oral Health Advocacy Conference (profiled in the May 2019 PDT) during their visits to Congressional offices was to support FY 2020 funding of $12 million for Title VII Pediatric Dentistry. This amount includes funding for the Dental Faculty Loan Repayment Program. As a follow-up to visits, House Members were asked to sign onto a Dear Colleague letter circulated by Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Calif.-26th). A  for a copy of the letter, signed by 40 House members, can be accessed on the AAPD website at https:// www.aapd.org/globalassets/media/advocacy/fy2020-pediatric-dentistry_appro- priations-dear-colleague-letter.pdf.
 
ORGANIZED DENTISTRY COALITION ASKS CONGRESS TO REPEAL MEDICAL DEVICE TAX
 
On April 23, 2019, the Organized Dentistry Coalition (ODC), of which the AAPD is a member, once again asked Congress to repeal the medical device tax. The ODC "urged lawmakers to permanently repeal the 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices set to take effect at the end of the year. The letter stated: "As dentists, we are deeply concerned about the adverse impact the medical device tax paid by manufacturers, importers and producers of certain dental devices will have on patient care, innovation and cost." The medical device tax is one of the revenue/funding mechanisms in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Essentially, the ODC along with most health professions associations believes it is an ill-advised policy approach for legislation that sought to improve access to health care services.
 
AAPD AND ADA URGE DENTISTS TO CONTACT LEGISLATORS TO SUPPORT DENTAL FACULTY LOAN REPAYMENT BILLS
 
On May 30, 2019, the AAPD and ADA issued a joint Grass Roots Action Alert on the Dental Faculty Loan Repayment Program tax relief bills (S. 359/H.R. 996). This alert asked dentists to contact their legislators to support legislation that would strengthen the Dental Fac- ulty Loan Repayment Program (DFLRP). In the email, Dr. Tommy Harrison, chair, American Dental Political Action Committee, and  Dr. Warren A. Brill, chair, AAPD Political Action Committee, urged the dentists to ask their Members of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 996 and S. 359. These bills would exempt dental faculty receiving DFLRP awards from having to pay income tax on such loan repayments. Drs. Harrison and Brill wrote: "With the staggering student loan debt that many graduates face, and the income disparity between the private sector and a career in teaching, the ability to retain and attract top faculty is more difficult than ever."
 
DFLRP was created – thanks to AAPD’s advocacy efforts – due to the significant difficulties in recruiting qualified individuals to fill faculty positions, especially acute in pediatric dentistry.
 
The AAPD thanks Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y. 9th) for her continued leadership on and championing of  this issue. She introduced H.R. 996 along with Congressman (and dentist) Mike Simpson (R-Idaho 2nd), Congressman (and dentist) Paul Gosar (R-Ariz. 4th), and Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-N.Y. 6th).
 
The Senate companion bill (S. 359) was introduced by Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.). The bills were introduced in the 116th  Congress on Feb. 6, 2019, in conjunction with National Children’s Dental Health Month, and featured a Congres- sional press release as described and reproduced in the March 2019 issue of PDT.
 
The goal of the Action Alert is to increase the number of Senate and House co-sponsors in order to build momentum for this provision to be included in any future tax legislative package.
 
To contact your legislators to support these bills, a direct link to the alert can be accessed at https://actioncenter.ada.org/dental-faculty-loan- repayment/.
 

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