Safety Net Programs
Mending America’s tattered dental safety net requires having an adequate (and sufficiently funded) dental workforce—located where it is needed and with the necessary facilities and equipment to carry out its mission. That is why the ADA is working with lawmakers, public health leaders, and others to protect a number of longstanding programs that provide essential dental care and dental-related services to our most vulnerable citizens.
The high-priority programs the ADA is seeking to protect, improve, and (in some cases) expand include, among others:
- Health Centers (FAQ)
- Public Health Service Dental Corps (incl. the Indian Health Service)
- National Health Service Corps dental programs
- Title VII General, Pediatric, and Public Health Dental Residency Programs
- Graduate Medical Education programs
- Ryan White HIV/AIDS Dental Programs
- Dental student loan forgiveness and service payback programs
The ADA is also working with state dental societies, state governments, higher education leaders, charitable organizations, and the private sector to bring Community Dental Health Coordinators (CDHCs) to dentally underserved communities throughout the country.
The Association's priorities are based on the major policies and positions (PDF) (Members Only) adopted by the ADA House of Delegates.
Letters and Testimony
- July 22, 2021—Letter (PDF) thanking Representative Anthony Brown for introducing H.R. 4510, the Health Enterprise Zones Act, which aims to attract dentists to underserved communities through tax incentives, grants, and student loan repayment options.
- July 6, 2021—House Letter and Senate Letter (PDF) thanking Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. and Senator Patty Murray for introducing the Doctors of Community Act (DOC Act), H.R. 3671 and S. 1958, respectively. The DOC Act would permanently extend and expand the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program, which trains residents on serving in community-based settings such as federally qualified health centers, rural health centers, and tribal health centers
- June 28, 2021- Coalition Letter (PDF) Organized Dentistry Coalition letter (PDF) to thank Representative Karen Bass for introducing H.R. 1794, the Foster Youth Dental Act, which would increase Medicaid dental coverage for former foster youth ages 21 to 25.
- May 27, 2021—Letter (PDF) Thanking Senators Collins and Rosen for introducing S. 958 the MOBILE Act, which will expand the NAP grants program, which will allow for the improvement of mobile oral health centers.
- May 27, 2021—Letter (PDF) thanking Representative Karen Bass for introducing H.R. 1794 the Foster Youth Dental Act, which would increase Medicaid dental coverage from 21 to 25 for former foster youth.
- April 14, 2021—Coalition Letter (PDF) thanking Representative Blunt Rochester for introducing H.R. 2295 the HELP Act, which would offer loan repayment up to $250,000 for the HIV dental workforce.
- February 26, 2021—Coalition Letter (PDF) thanking Representative Diaz Barragan thanking her for introducing H.R.379 the Improving Social Determinants of Health Act.
- February 5, 2021—Coalition Letter (PDF) to Congressional Leadership calling for Congress to increase the Medicaid FMAP percentage by at least 5.8%.
- September 16, 2020—Comments (PDF) to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) on Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) that express concerns with the current way HPSAs are designated and give suggestions for an alternative methodology.
- August 28, 2020—Letter (PDF) thanking Senators Dick 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.
- February 26, 2020—Coalition Letter (PDF) in support of H.R. 4678, the Oral Health Literacy and Awareness Act
- December 20, 2019—Comments (PDF) on the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) PreventionX Request for Information (RFI), including recommendations to increase the use of CDHC's
- November 26, 2019—Comments (PDF) urging the House Ways and Means Committee Rural and Under Served Communities Task Force to support H.R. 996, the Dental Loan Repayment Assistance Act
- November 15, 2019—Letter (PDF) to Congressman Tony Cárdenas in support of H.R. 4678, the Oral Health Literacy and Awareness Act
- October 9, 2019—Comments (PDF) to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in response to a Request for Information (RFI) on rural health care, including dental Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs)
- June 12, 2019—Letter (PDF) to the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Community Health Centers, Teaching Health Centers, and the National Health Service Corps
- February 1, 2019—Letter (PDF) to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on their hearing and legislation on health center and providers in under-served communities
Prepared by: Division of Government and Public Affairs
Last Updated: January 3, 2020