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Congress jump starts dental responder legislation

Washington—The U.S. House of Representatives Jan. 22 passed and sent to the Senate ADA-backed dental emergency responder legislation.

The 395-29 bipartisan vote revives legislation to recognize the importance of dentists and dental facilities to the nation's medical surge capacity without mandating participation by dentists. H.R. 307 would reauthorize several pandemic medical disaster and emergency response programs. Dental responder legislation has gone through several iterations in several Congresses with widespread professional and congressional support but fallen short of final passage.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) introduced H.R. 307 in the 113th Congress with co-sponsor Reps. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Gene Green (D-Texas), Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.). The legislation says that the National Health Security Strategy "may include" dental personnel and facilities.

Visit ADA.org for a legislative history and information on dentistry's disaster response capacity.