June 6, 2011
Each spring, the American Dental Association hosts a legislative and lobbying conference in Washington, D.C. Dentists from around the U.S. participate in a three-day conference that provides a mix of prominent speakers, issue briefings, grassroots education and political training. This year’s event, held May 9-11, was organized by Colorado’s own Dr. Rhett Murray. Eight CDA dentists were able to participate in the Washington Leadership Conference, with the CDA sponsoring three members’ participation and five additional Colorado dentists attending as ADA representatives.
As part of this event, the CDA schedules meetings that connect Colorado’s participating dentists with all nine U.S. senators and representatives for Colorado. The delegation met with Representatives Scott Tipton (R-3rd), Cory Gardner (R-4th), and Ed Perlmutter (D-7th). The delegation met with prominent staff members in remaining congressional offices.
This year, the delegation advocated for:
- HR 1150, which would repeal the McCarran-Ferguson anti-trust exemptions for insurance companies to eliminate anti-competitive behavior and expand marketplace competition, providing more coverage options for consumers.
- HR 605/S 312, which would restore higher funding caps for Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs). The funding caps were reduced to $2,500 during healthcare reform, a limit that is seen as too low for many Americans who rely on their FSAs to help pay for oral healthcare.
- HR 1666, which would provide grant funding for state- and local-based pilot programs aimed at breaking down barriers to oral healthcare, with a focus on prevention.
In addition, Colorado dentists discussed the importance of maintaining the prominence of the oral health unit at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency recently proposed reducing the stature of oral health within their organizational structure.
Thanks to Dr. Jeff Hurst, Dr. Brett Kessler, Dr. Ed Leone Jr., Dr. David Lurye, Dr. Rhett Murray, Dr. Jeanne Salcetti, Dr. Jeane Schoemaker and Dr. Ken Versman, who took time from their practices to represent Colorado dentists at this important event.
See more pictures from this event in the WLC photo album on the CDA facebook page.