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ADA lobbies Congress on CARES Act

Association focuses on bill’s potential impact on dental offices

March 20, 2020

By Jennifer Garvin

Coronavirus image featuring Capitol Building
Washington — The ADA on March 20 sent out a Legislative Issues Alert to dentists, assuring them that the Association continues to lobby on their behalf in response to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

In the email alert, the ADA thanked dentists for their grassroots efforts on this bill — which is the third legislation package drafted in response to the coronavirus and is being called the CARES Act. As of 5 p.m. EST Friday, those efforts included more than 72,000 dentists sending more than 200,000 emails to lawmakers in a 24-hour span. The alert went to every dentist and dental stakeholder with an email address in the ADA’s database.

“Thank you for everything you do for dentistry!” the alert said, which noted the legislative process is “far from over and much activity will take place over the next two days.” It also prompted members to be on the lookout for another action alert Saturday explaining how they can continue with their grassroots efforts.

The alert also shared how certain provisions in the draft legislation could be of interest to dentists and dental practices, including:
 
• Small Business Administration low interest express loans, which are expected to have a 36-hour turnaround, would be increased to $1 million through the end of 2020.
• Student loan payments would be temporarily suspended.
• Employer Payroll Taxes and Corporate Tax Payments could be delayed.
• Emergency leave programs established under the second coronavirus package, including expanding the Labor Department’s authority to exempt businesses with fewer than 50 workers from paid leave requirements, would be modified.
• Rebates of as much as $1,200 for individual tax filers or $2,400 for couples who file joint tax returns would be dispensed based on income.
• Extending the tax filing deadline for the 2019 tax year to July 15 from April 15. The deadline for any individual installment payments would be delayed until Oct. 15, 2020.
• Allowing individuals to withdraw as much as $100,000 from their retirement accounts, without penalty, through the end of 2020.
 
“Finally, you should be aware that the Trump administration acknowledged dentists around the country at a news conference for being proactive and restricting services to help fight the spread of the virus, but still remaining available to perform emergency procedures in their of-fices so that individuals in need do not have to go to a hospital,” the alert concluded.
 
For a comprehensive FAQ to help explain how the federal government is responding to the coronavirus pandemic, visit the House Committee on Ways and Means website.

Please visit ADA.org/virus for the latest ADA information.