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ADA urges Congress to pass additional COVID-19 relief legislation

November 19, 2020

By Jennifer Garvin

Photo of US Capitol Wide Shot

Washington — The ADA is urging Congress to pass additional COVID-19 relief legislation in order to ensure the safety and economic stability of dental practices across the country.

In a Nov. 19 letter to leaders of the House and Senate, ADA President Daniel J. Klemmedson, D.D.S., M.D., and Executive Director Kathleen T. O’Loughlin, D.M.D., told lawmakers that passing additional pandemic legislation “will help to guarantee that patients receive the oral health care that is critical to maintaining their overall health.”

One of the key items the ADA would like Congress to address is providing additional flexibility for the Paycheck Protection Program loans. This includes allowing borrowers to:

• Deduct expenses paid for with PPP loans.
• Take advantage of the Employee Retention Tax Credit.
• Utilize a more streamlined forgiveness process.
• Access additional PPP loans and permit 501(c)(6) organizations to apply for new PPP funds.
• Use future PPP loans to purchase PPE.

The ADA also asked Congress to:

• Provide tax credits to small businesses for the purchase of additional personal protective equipment and safety improvements to the office.
• Offer states fiscal relief targeted at preventing state Medicaid budgets from cutting adult dental benefits.
• Give temporary and targeted liability protection to small businesses that follow applicable public health guidelines during the pandemic, including dentists who conduct FDA-approved tests and administer FDA-approved vaccines.
• Extend the deferment of payments and interest on federal student loans and consider policies that would provide deferments for privately held student loans.
• Incentivize health care practitioners to work in health-disadvantaged communities that have been further undermined by COVID-19 by providing tax credits, federal grants, additional student loan repayment and other assistance.

For more information about the ADA’s advocacy efforts during COVID-19, visit ADA.org/COVID19Advocacy.