May 18, 2009
Each spring, the ADA hosts a legislative and lobbying conference in Washington, D.C. Attendees participate in a three-day conference that provides a mix of prominent speakers, issue briefings, grassroots education and political training. In addition, the CDA schedules meetings that connect participants with all nine federal senators and representatives for Colorado.
Nine CDA dentists were able to participate in the Washington Leadership Conference May 11-13, with the CDA sponsoring six members’ participation and three additional Colorado dentists attending as ADA representatives. Drs. Jeff Hurst, Jeanne Salcetti, David Lurye, Kevin Sessa, Jeane Schoemaker, Brett Kessler, Ed Leone Jr., Ken Versman and Rhett Murray represented Colorado this year. The delegation met with Senator Mark Udall and Representatives Jared Polis (D-1st), John Salazar (D-3rd), Doug Lamborn (R-5th) and Ed Perlmutter (D-7th). The delegation met with prominent staff members in remaining congressional offices.
This year, the delegation advocated for:
- HR 2220, which would improve existing oral health programs by ensuring fair payment for services, reducing administrative barriers, encouraging provider participation, providing grants for community programs that provide free care to in-need populations and expanding community education about preventative care.
- HR 1583, 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 2345, which would correct unintended consequences of the FTC’s “Red Flags Rule.” This rule has been expansively written to include healthcare providers, creating HIPAA compliance problems as well as a large and unnecessary administrative burden on small business practices.
In addition, Colorado dentists offered their assistance in ongoing healthcare reform discussions. They emphasized that oral health is a critical piece of overall health and addressing oral health, especially preventative care, is vital to a sustainable healthcare reform plan. They stressed that oral health providers should be included in a meaningful way in healthcare reform discussions.
View the full Washington Leadership Conference photo album in the “Legislative Events” section of our multimedia directory.