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Dental leaders find receptive audience on Capitol Hill

April 30, 2015

By Craig Palmer

Under the rotunda: Leaders from the Tennessee Dental Association pose April 28 with Rep. John Jay Duncan Jr., R-Tenn., under a dome in Washington, D.C. From left, Dr. L. Dale Blevins, Dr. Jeannie Beauchamp, Rep. Duncan, Dr. Bill Powell and Dr. Roy Thompson.
Washington — Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., R-Tenn., led Tennessee dentists to the U.S. Capitol for a photo in the National Statuary Hall, also known as the Old Hall of the House, the large two-story semicircular room south of the Rotunda.

Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., urged Georgia dentists to get some Republicans on the Student Loan Refinancing Act they were promoting.

"You have some good Democrats here," Rep. Scott said scanning the list of cosponsors. "But I'm a practical politician, and you have to get some Republicans on this bill."

He told the Washington Leadership Conference dentists, "Tell [Rep. Tom] Price [R-Ga.] you talked to me and Congressman Scott wants you to join with him to cosponsor this bill. I want to get it passed."

Representing the Peach State: Leaders from the Georgia Dental Association pose with Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., fourth from left, during the Washington Leadership Conference. From left are Dr. Jonathan Dubin, Frank Capaldo, Dr. Cathy Cook, Rep. Scott, Fatimot Ladipo, Dr. Richard Weinman, Dr. Michael Loden and Dr. Pete Trager.
Reps. Lee Zeldin and Chris Collins, both Republicans from New York, told New York dentists visiting their Capitol Hill offices April 28 that they would "take a look" at signing on to the Student Loan Refinancing Act. Rep. Zeldin told his WLC visitors he's interested in ADA's Give Kids A Smile program, "but the rules for members of Congress are so crazy that you can't host an event. I'd like to personally be involved and get our office involved."   

Not a bad day for the dental lobby on Capitol Hill, replete with photo ops across the Capitol and beneath the dome.

More than 500 dentists, state dental association staff and other dental leaders registered for the Washington Leadership Conference, and dentists fanned Capitol Hill April 28 as members returned to their offices to resume their legislative duties. Other WLC dental delegations met with congressional staff to discuss issues important to the dental profession, including the Action for Dental Health Act, H.R. 539, the Student Loan Refinancing Act, H.R. 649 and RAISE Health Benefits Act, H.R. 1185.

NYSDA: Leaders from the New York State Dental Association Dr. Frank Barnashuk, left, and Dr. Raymond Miller, right, pose with Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., center, at the Washington Leadership Conference.