Washington Leadership Conference
Every spring hundreds of dentists gather together in the nation’s capital to advocate for their patients, profession and their practice. At the Washington Leadership Conference (WLC), you will hear from political analysts, subject matter experts, members of Congress and politically involved dentists on issues that affect oral health in the United States. Join your colleagues and the American Dental Association in helping the current efforts on the Hill to ensure your voice is heard by lawmakers.
2015 WLC Advocacy Accomplishments
April 27th-29th, the American Dental Political Action Committee (ADPAC) and Council on Government Affairs (CGA) recently hosted our annual Washington Leadership Conference (WLC) in Washington, D.C. This year, over 470 dentists from all 50 states descended on Washington to advocate on behalf of your patients, your practice, and your profession. ADPAC would like to share with all of you the impact that your colleagues made on Capitol Hill during the WLC.
ADA member dentists met with over 300 Congressional offices to discuss the important issues to dentistry. Below you will find a summary of those issues
Action for Dental Health Act 2015 (H.R. 539)
The bill would allow organizations to qualify for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) oral health grants to support activities that improve oral health education and dental disease prevention. The grants would also be used to develop and expand outreach programs establishing dental homes for children and adults, including the elderly, blind and disabled. H.R. 539 is picking up steam, it has added 44 co-sponsors since the WLC, bringing the total number of co-sponsors to 56 (click on the above link to see the whole list).
Student Loan Refinancing Act (H.R. 649)
This bill will assist in easing the burden of student loan debt by allowing individuals to refinance their federal student loans more than once. H.R. 649 would allow new dentists to refinance their federal Direct Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, and Direct Consolidation Loans at any time during the life of the loans, enabling them to take advantage of lower interest rates during more favorable economic conditions. Moreover, refinanced rates would be fixed, protecting them from interest rate hikes when economic conditions worsen. Since WLC, 15 new co-sponsors have signed on to this bill bringing the total to 33 (click on the above to see a full list).
RAISE Act of 2015 (H.R. 1185)
This legislation makes three common sense changes to the current Health Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA) structure to give families a greater degree of control of their out-of-pocket health care expenses. First, it allows families to carry over all unused funds from year to year, providing the ability to plan and save for major expenditures. Second, the bill raises the savings cap from $2,500 to $5,000 per year. Lastly, it allows for an additional $500 to be added to the cap for each dependent beyond two. After WLC, the bill picked up another 24 co-sponsors, bringing the total to 48 (click on the above link to see the whole list).
We need your help to continue your colleagues’ efforts on Capitol Hill. Send a message to your member of Congress asking him/her to support the Action for Dental Health Act.
WLC 2015 Review Information
Conference PowerPoint Presentation
Congressional Evaluation Form
Conference Evaluation Form
WLC 2015 Issue Sheets
Action For Dental Health Act H.R. 539
Student Loan Refinancing Act H.R. 649
RAISE Health Benefits Act H.R. 1185
The 2016 Washington Leadership Conference will be held from May 2-4, 2016 and will be held at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Online Registration and Online Hotel Reservations will not be available until February 2016.
Who should attend?
All ADA member dentists are invited to join their colleagues to speak with One Voice United on Capitol Hill. All ADA Action Team Leaders are partially funded by the ADA to attend the conference and meet with their legislator.
For more information on the Washington Leadership Conference, please contact Nick DeSarno, Grassroots Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202.789.5168.