Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advocacy

The ADA is lobbying Congress and the administration to protect dental patients and staff who are providing urgent and emergency care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ADA is also lobbying to help dental practices stay viable during (and following) prolonged periods of reduced hours or closure.

Priorities include:

  • Improving and adequately funding federal small business disaster aid programs.
  • Exempting dental practices from onerous regulatory burdens.
  • Extending tax relief to impacted dental practices.
  • Providing adequate financial stability for displaced office staff.
  • Alleviating the burden of student loan payments during the emergency period. 
  • Obtaining clinical guidelines to safely and effectively treat dental patients during the outbreak.
  • Securing clear and consistent risk-based guidelines for reopening dental practices.
  • Ensuring personal protective equipment is available when and where it is most needed.
  • Expanding COVID-19 point-of-care testing across the country.
Current policies

View the ADA's official policies on dentistry's role during major disasters and public health emergencies, including the need to recognize dental care as an essential health care service.

Current Policies

For dentists

Find resources to navigate the uncertainties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, including guidance about infection control, employment law, obligations to employees, government assistance, and more.

ADA Coronavirus Center for Dentists

For patients

If you are a patient, please visit MouthHealthy.org/virus to learn what to do about emergency, urgent, and scheduled dental care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

MouthHealthy.org/virus

In Congress

April 1, 2022—Coalition letter (PDF) asking Congress to protect coverage for beneficiaries should lawmakers and the administration seek to unwind enhanced Medicaid protections related to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

March 30, 2022—Letter (PDF) in support of S. 3799, the Prepare for and Respond to Existing Viruses, Emerging New Threats, and Pandemics Act (PREVENT Pandemics Act). This bill would leverage best practices and lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic to enhance the nation’s response to future public health emergencies.

March 8, 2022—Coalition letter (PDF) thanking Congress for passing the Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act. This bill will support the mental health of health care professionals.

February 4, 2022—Coalition letter (PDF) led by the Infectious Diseases Society of America asking Senators Murray and Burr to include the Bolstering Infectious Outbreaks Pandemic Workforce Act in pandemic preparedness legislation.

February 4, 2022—Comments (PDF) on a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee discussion draft of the PREVENT Pandemics Act, which would leverage best practices and lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic to enhance the nation's response to future public health emergencies.

April 30, 2021—Letter (PDF) thanking Senators Collins, Portman, and Shaheen for sponsoring S. 1200, the Fair PPP Accounting Act, which would adjust the eligibility calculation for PPP loans.

April 30, 2021—Letter (PDF) thanking Reps. Hill and Houlihan for introducing H.R. 2582, the PPP Revenue Adjustment Calculation to Increase Capital Accessibility Long-term Act (Practical Act), which would adjust the eligibility calculation for PPP loans.

April 29, 2021—Letter (PDF) thanking Senators Baldwin, Cardin, Collins, Lankford, King, Portman, and Marshall for sponsoring S. 1232, the PPP Flexibility for Farmers, Ranchers, and the Self-Employed Act, which would tie PPP loan eligibility to gross income rather than net income. 

April 19, 2021—Coalition Letter (PDF) thanking Representatives Axne, Dunn, and Fitzpatrick for sponsoring H.R. 2079, which will remove the negative tax implications of taking Provider Relief Fund money.

March 15, 2021—Coalition Letter (PDF) thanking Senators Cardin, Collins, and Shaheen, and Representatives Velazquez, Kim, Bourdeaux, and Luetkemeyer for their leadership on the PPP Extension Act of 2021, which would extend the PPP program.

February 19, 2021—Letter (PDF) urging members of the House and Senate small business committees to support the ADA's proposals for improving the second draw of the PPP program.

February 12, 2021—Letter (PDF) to the Congressional leadership on the ADA's requests for the next COVID-19 relief package.

February 1, 2021—Coalition Letter (PDF) urging Congress to include temporary liability protections as a part of any future COVID relief packages.

December 17, 2020—Coalition letter (PDF) calling on Congress to make a technical correction to the PPP program addressing the tax treatment of loan forgiveness.

December 15, 2020—Coalition letter (PDF) urging Congress to remove limits on the number of employees and lobbying activities placed on 501c6 organizations that are seeking PPP funds.

December 3, 2020—Coalition letter (PDF) to Congressional Leadership urging them to take action to address the tax treatment of PPP deductibility.

November 19, 2020—Coalition letter (PDF) urging congressional leaders to schedule a floor vote on H.R. 7777, and its Senate Companion, S. 4117, the Paycheck Protection Program Small Business Forgiveness Act, which would streamline the PPP loan application process.

November 18, 2020—Letter (PDF) requesting that congressional leaders advance COVID-19 relief in the lame duck session.

September 30, 2020—Coalition letter (PDF) urging congressional leaders to provide immediate COVID-19 relief to prevent further economic harm.

September 29, 2020—Letter (PDF) thanking the House Small Business Committee, Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access for holding a hearing on PPP loan forgiveness, and notifying them of the importance of PPP loan forgiveness to Dentistry.

September 28, 2020—Coalition Letter (PDF) asking the congressional leadership to expand eligibility for PPP loans to 501(c)(6) nonprofit organizations.

September 10, 2020—Letter (PDF) thanking Reps Thompson and Smith for holding a hearing on the Consequences of Inaction on COVID 19 Legislation, and expressing support for H.R. 7216, the Small Business PPE Tax Credit Act and H.R.7819, the Eliminating Provider Relief Tax Penalties Act.

September 8, 2020—Letter (PDF) thanking Senators Cramer, Menendez, Tillis, and Sinema for supporting S. 4117 the Paycheck Protection Small Business Forgiveness Act, which would streamline loan forgiveness for PPP loans under $150,000.

August 28, 2020—Letter (PDF) thanking Sens. Richard Durbin and Marco Rubio for introducing S. 4055, the Strengthening America's Health Care Readiness Act, which addresses the health workforce shortages and disparities highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic through additional funding for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), and establishment of a NHSC Emergency Service demonstration project.

August 25, 2020—Coalition Letter (PDF) supporting H.R. 7819 and S. 4525, which would ensure that all Provider Relief Fund assistance would not be taxable and that all expenses tied to Provider Relief would be tax deductible.

August 20, 2020—Letter (PDF) thanking Sen. Marsha Blackburn for introducing S. 4525, the Eliminating the Provider Relief Fund Tax Penalties Act of 2020, which would reduce the tax burden on health care providers receiving provider relief funding.

August 14, 2020—Coalition Letter (PDF) asking the Senate leaders to support S. 4055, Strengthening America's Health Care Readiness Act, which would supplement the National Health Service Corps to bolster the nation's medical surge capacity.

August 4, 2020—Coalition Letter (PDF) urging Congress to amend the CARES Act to ensure Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans are exempted from taxable income.

August 3, 2020—Letter (PDF) thanking Reps. Cindy Axne and Neal Dunn for introducing H.R. 7819, the Eliminating the Provider Relief Fund Tax Penalties Act of 2020, which would reduce the tax burden on health care providers receiving provider relief funding.

July 31, 2020—Coalition Letter (PDF) urging congressional leaders ensure that the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) receives adequate funding as a part of COVID-19 relief.

July 31, 2020—Letter (PDF) urging members of the Senate Finance Committee to support several COVID-19-related small business tax credit provisions in S. 4318, the American Workers, Families, and Employers Assistance Act.

July 31, 2020—Letter (PDF) thanking Sens. Marco Rubio and Susan Collins for introducing S. 4321, Continuing Small Business Recovery and Paycheck Protection Program Act, which would make 501(c)(6) not-for-profit organizations eligible to receive PPP loans and provide flexibility to use the funds to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE).

July 30, 2020—Letter (PDF) urging members of the Senate Judiciary Committee advance S. 4317 the Safe to Work Act, providing temporary liability protections during COVID-19.

July 30, 2020—Coalition Letter (PDF) urging Congress to support the temporary liability relief in S. 4317, the Safe to Work Act.

July 22, 2020—Letter (PDF) thanking Rep. Mike Simpson for urging the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to open provider relief funds to dentists.

July 17, 2020—Coalition Letter (PDF) urging congressional leaders to include dentistry's requests in the next COVID-19 relief package.

July 10, 2020—Letter (PDF) urging House leaders to include dentistry's requests in the next COVID-19 relief package.

July 10, 2020—Letter (PDF) urging Senate leaders to include dentistry's requests in the next COVID-19 relief package.

July 9, 2020—Coalition Letter (PDF) expressing support for S. 4117, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Small Business Forgiveness Act, which would forgive PPP loans of less than $150,000 if the borrower completes a simple, one-page forgiveness document.

July 2, 2020—Coalition Letter (PDF) urging Congress to make a significant, long-term investment in public health infrastructure by providing $4.5 billion in additional annual funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the state, local, tribal, and territorial public health infrastructure.

July 1, 2020—Coalition Letter (PDF) expressing support for S. 3612, the Small Business Expense Protection Act, which will ensure that small businesses can deduct eligible Paycheck Protection Program expenses from their taxes.

July 1, 2020—Coalition Letter (PDF) urging congressional leaders to support nonprofit associations in COVID-19 relief packages, and to pass the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act and the Skills Renewal Act.

July 1, 2020—Coalition Letter (PDF) thanking Reps. Brenda Lawrence, Troy Balderson, Mike Quigley, and John Joyce for introducing H.R. 7216, the Small Business Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Tax Credit Act, which would provide a tax credit for the purchase of PPE for small businesses, including dental practices.

June 25, 2020—Coalition Letter (PDF) urging congressional leaders to provide a tax exemption for money allocated from the Provider Relief Fund.

June 24, 2020—Letter (PDF) thanking Reps. Brenda Lawrence, Troy Balderson, Mike Quigley, and John Joyce for introducing H.R. 7216, the Small Business Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Tax Credit Act, which would provide a tax credit for the purchase of PPE for small businesses, including dental practices.

June 15, 2020—Coalition Letter (PDF) thanking Reps. Stephanie Murphy and John Katko for introducing H.R. 6776, the Jumpstarting Our Businesses' Success Credit (JOBS Credit) Act, which would expand and enhance the Employee Retention Tax Credit.

June 8, 2020—Letter (PDF) urging Senate leaders to support adequate Medicaid oral health funding in the next COVID-19 relief package.

June 5, 2020—Letter (PDF) urging congressional leaders to support a 90-day suspension of all tariffs on medical products and supplies necessary to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

June 1, 2020—Coalition Letter (PDF) thanking Sen. Martha McSally for introducing S. 3716, the Main Street Enhancement and Safety Act, which would allow Paycheck Protection Program loans to be used for the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment.

May 27, 2020—Coalition Letter (PDF) thanking Reps. Chip Roy and Dean Phillips for introducing H.R. 6886, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, which would reform portions of the Paycheck Protection Program.

May 27, 2020—Coalition Letter (PDF) thanking Sens. Marco Rubio, Ben Cardin, Susan Collins, Jeanne Shaheen, and Richard Durbin for introducing S. 3833, the Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act, which would extend and reform portions of the Paycheck Protection Program.

May 26, 2020—Letter (PDF) thanking Reps. Chip Roy and Dean Phillips for introducing H.R. 6886, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, which would extend and reform portions of the Paycheck Protection Program.

May 21, 2020—Coalition Letter (PDF) thanking Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) for his efforts on behalf of Dentistry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 21, 2020—Coalition Letter (PDF) thanking Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán for her efforts on behalf of dentistry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 19, 2020—Coalition Letter (PDF) urging congressional leaders to enhance commercial business interruption insurance in the next COVID-19 relief package.

May 11, 2020—Coalition Letter (PDF) urging congressional leaders to include 501(c)(6) not-for-profit organizations in the Paycheck Protection Program.

May 7, 2020—Coalition Letter (PDF) urging members of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee to ensure the loan forgiveness provided under the Paycheck Protection Program is not treated as taxable income.

May 1, 2020—Coalition Letter (PDF) urging congressional leaders to provide flexibility to use Paycheck Protection Program funds to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 29, 2020—Letter (PDF) urging congressional leaders to consider several proposals to help dentists, dental practices, and their patients and staff in the next COVID-19 relief package.

April 28, 2020—Coalition letter (PDF) urging congressional leaders to increase health care coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 17, 2020—Coalition letter (PDF) urging congressional leaders to adequately fund and make significant improvements to several Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan programs to help small businesses stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 14, 2020—Coalition letter (PDF) urging members of the House and Senate small business committees to include 501(c)(6) not-for-profit organizations in future COVID-19 relief packages.

April 13, 2020—Letter (PDF) urging congressional leaders to prioritize the scarcity of personal protective equipment (PPE) in future legislation to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 10, 2020—Letter (PDF) urging congressional leaders to adequately fund and make significant improvements to several Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan programs to help small businesses stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 10, 2020—Letter (PDF) thanking Rep. Bill Huizenga for sponsoring H.R. 6433, the Helping Emergency Responders Overcome Emergency Situations (HEROES) Act of 2020, which would extend a four month federal income tax holiday for health care personnel and other front line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 18, 2020—Coalition letter (PDF) urging congressional leaders and the president to consider several proposals in a third legislative package to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 18, 2020—Letter (PDF) urging Senate leaders to consider several proposals in the third legislative package to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 16, 2020—Coalition letter (PDF) urging Senate leaders to consider several proposals in the third legislative package to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal Agencies

April 21, 2022—American Dental Association (ADA) response to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) request for information about updating its emergency temporary standard to protect health care workers from COVID-19.

April 1, 2022—Coalition letter (PDF) asking the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to protect coverage for beneficiaries should lawmakers and the administration seek to unwind enhanced Medicaid protections related to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

December 1, 2021—Letter (PDF) urging OSHA to consider the impact a COVID-19 vaccination and testing mandate would have on small dental practices.

October 27, 2021—Letter (PDF) urging OMB to consider the impact a COVID-19 vaccination and testing mandate would have on small dental practices.

August 23, 2021—Letter (PDF) urging HHS to open future phases of the Provider Relief Fund to dentists.

July 26, 2021—Comments (PDF) on OSHA's emergency temporary standard for workplace protections against COVID-19.

June 2, 2021—Letter (PDF) urging OMB to consider the impact a potential COVID-19 emergency temporary standard would have on small dental practices.

May 6, 2021—Letter (PDF) urging the COVID 19 Health Equity Task Force examine the impact of COVID 19 on the oral health of Americans, and especially those from underserved communities.

April 8, 2021—Letter (PDF) urging the SBA to provide more assistance to dental offices that are financially distressed due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

February 1, 2021—Coalition letter (PDF) urging EEOC to clarify the extent to which employers can offer incentives to encourage employees to get vaccinated.

January 4, 2021—Dental coalition letter (PDF) urging CMS to reconsider several interim final CARES Act regulations that would adversely impact Medicaid beneficiaries.

January 4, 2021—Partnership for Medicaid coalition letter (PDF) urging CMS to reconsider several interim final CARES Act regulations that would adversely impact Medicaid beneficiaries.

January 4, 2021—Letter (PDF) urging CMS to reconsider several interim final CARES Act regulations that would adversely impact Medicaid beneficiaries.

December 16, 2020—Letter (PDF) urging FEMA to address the shortage of personal protective equipment for dental personnel.

December 16, 2020—Letter (PDF) urging HHS to authorize dental personnel to receive personal protective equipment as essential health care workers. 

December 15, 2020—Comments (PDF) on an IRS-proposed rule governing the tax treatment of economic relief during COVID-19.

November 30, 2020—Letter (PDF) urging the Biden administration to address several of the ADA's priorities during its first 100 days..

November 20, 2020—Letter (PDF) urging the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to recommend that CDC incorporate dentists into its framework for distributing the COVID-19 vaccine.

November 5, 2020—Letter (PDF) urging CDC to provide guidance on the safe resumption of school-based dental programs across the country.

October 23, 2020—Letter (PDF) from the dentists in Congress, asking CDC to develop guidance for using the surface disinfectants that EPA has authorized for temporary emergency use.

September 4, 2020—Letter (PDF) thanking the National Academies for recommending that dentists and their teams be placed in the top tier of health care workers who should be afforded early access to a COVID-19 vaccine.

September 2, 2020—Testimony (PDF) to the National Academies regarding early distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine when one becomes available.

August 6, 2020—Letter (PDF) urging the DEA to delay the adjustment in its registration fees.

July 1, 2020—Letter (PDF) urging HHS to develop guidance for providers who are deemed ineligible for support through the Provider Relief Fund.

May 11, 2020—Letter (PDF) urging DHS to extend the grace period for dentists on H-1B visas.

May 6, 2020—Letter (PDF) urging the CDC to quickly provide guidance on how best to protect dental patients and staff in parts of the country that are recovering from the COVID-19 outbreak.

May 1, 2020—Coalition letter (PDF) urging the SBA and the Treasury Department to provide flexibility to use Paycheck Protection Program funds to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 27, 2020—Letter (PDF) urging the FCC to extend the COVID-19 Telehealth Program to all dental practices, regardless of size, location, or for-profit status.

April 22, 2020—Coalition letter (PDF) urging the HHS to authorize dentists to conduct point-of-care testing for COVID-19.

April 17, 2020—Coalition letter (PDF) urging HHS and CMS to provide immediate Provider Relief Fund assistance for dentists who are only providing care for patients with urgent needs.

April 17, 2020—Letter (PDF) urging HHS to authorize dentists to conduct point-of-care testing for COVID-19.

April 15, 2020—Letter (PDF) thanking the EPA for being flexible in enforcing certain federal environmental compliance obligations during the COVID-19 outbreak.

April 3, 2020—Letter (PDF) urging SBA and the Treasury Department to issue clear guidance to help dentists applying for Paycheck Protection Program 7(a) loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

March 27, 2020—Public statement (PDF) supporting emergency efforts at the federal level to dramatically increase the production and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other necessary medical equipment and supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 24, 2020—Letter (PDF) urging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide immediate guidance on how best to protect dental patients and staff from the transmission of COVID-19 during emergency and urgent care situations.

March 18, 2020—Coalition letter (PDF) urging the Department of Labor to exempt small businesses from certain provisions in H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Contacts

Government and Public Affairs
Washington Office
202.898.2400
Email: govtpol@ada.org

State Government Affairs
312.440.2525
Email: govtpol@ada.org

American Dental Political Action Committee (ADPAC)
202.898.2424
Email: adpac@ada.org

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Prepared by: Government and Public Affairs