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ADA launches Capitol Hill ad campaign

Washington—It's a grim photo illustrating what the Association calls a "moral health issue" in a limited print advertising campaign funded by ADPAC and running in Capitol Hill publications.

"Millions of hard-working, low-income Americans—young and old—don't have regular access to a dentist," says the full-page ad that wraps the Dec. 18 print edition of The Hill as the back page of a page one leading with "A merry Christmas" report on Senate health care reform legislation.

"Many suffer with painful, disfiguring diseases," the ADA ad says, "tooth decay, gum disease, loss of teeth, chronic infections. And it gets worse—untreated dental disease has been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, even death." And in bolder type addressed to the audience, the ad says, "Congress: It's not too late to increase funding for dental Medicaid. Because our friends and neighbors most in need can't afford to wait."

Similar ads appeared in Politico, CQ, Congressional Daily AM and Roll Call.

The ADA launched the Dec. 16-22 "inside the Beltway" ad campaign to send a reminder to a Congress giving little attention to oral health in the health policy debate. "The most important step toward improving the oral health of the underserved is to properly fund programs like Medicaid and the state Children's Health Insurance Program," the Association said.

"The campaign's goal is modest. It does not seek to move votes or sway opinion among the general public but simply to make sure that Congress and the other oral health stakeholders are aware of the ADA's presence and leadership on oral health issues."