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Dental organizations support bill to buoy loan repayment program

February 27, 2019 Washington — Eight dental organizations, including the ADA, have thanked several members of Congress for sponsoring legislation that would allow full-time faculty members participating in the Dental Faculty Loan Repayment Program to exclude from their income the amount of the loan forgiveness from their federal income taxes.

In letters to Reps. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, Paul Gosar, R-Ariz. and Grace Meng, D-N.Y., and Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., the ADA, American Dental Education Association, American Association of Orthodontists, American Association of Public Health Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, Academy of General Dentistry and American Association for Dental Research said they were "pleased that Congress understands the importance of this program."

"The DFLRP (Dental Faculty Loan Repayment Program) is making a real impact in recruiting and retaining dental faculty," the groups said. "And by alleviating the tax burden of the loan repayment benefits, H.R. 996 [and S. 359] will make the program even more effective."

The Dental Faculty Loan Repayment Program was created to assist accredited dental schools in recruiting qualified faculty and residents in advanced education programs in general, pediatric or public health dentistry. In the letter, the dental groups explained that a critical factor in recruiting and retaining these positions is "the staggering level of student loan debt and income disparity with private practice."

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