In a Zoom video discussion, Dr. Amrita Patel, new dentist member of the ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs and a 2021 10 Under 10 Awards recipient; Dr. David White, chair of the ADA Council on Government Affairs; and Jim Shultz, director of governmental and public affairs with the New Jersey Dental Association discussed how new dentists and dental students can learn more about the proposed legislation; why they need to take action; and the importance of working with Congress on the bill.
“The important thing to remember is this is time sensitive, so we need everyone to mobilize now,” Dr. Patel said.
The ADA on Sept. 8 called on dentists nationwide to contact their members of Congress to oppose the legislative proposal. It is particularly important that new dentists contact their members of Congress because, if enacted into law, the Medicare Part B proposal will greatly affect how dentistry is practiced in the future, including reimbursement, administrative requirements, and more.
The ADA has proposed an alternative approach to expand access for seniors that adheres to the ADA’s policy, which supports the oral health care of those 65 years old and older by including a range of services necessary to achieve and maintain oral health for beneficiaries with incomes up to 300% of the federal poverty level.
“Write your congressional representative and tell them that you oppose the current legislative proposal being considered by the House committees and urge them to consider alternative approaches that would not only reflect dentistry’s unique delivery of care, but would actually provide oral health care to seniors who need it most,” the alert concluded.
In an email to member dentists, ADA President Daniel J. Klemmedson reminded them of the power of advocacy.
“You CAN make a difference,” he wrote. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, over 160,000 dentists wrote to Congress, and this helped ensure that Congress passed laws that supported dentistry. We need you to take action now by contacting your members of Congress.”
The ADA is calling this an urgent issue and is encouraging dentists to visit ActionCenter.ADA.org to directly contact their members of Congress. All dentists, including those who have written to Congress on this issue in the past, should do so. The Medicare dental proposal is being considered right now by House committees.
For more information, visit ADA.org/Medicare.