February 25, 2013
The CDA hosted its annual Dentists at the Capitol Lobby Day on Friday, Feb. 15. Lobby Day is an opportunity for dentists across Colorado to talk with legislators about the important issues that affect the dental community. From the push for mid-level providers to a Sunset Review of the Dental Practice Act in 2014, dentistry is currently facing a number of issues that will affect the future of the profession.
This year, a group of 28 dentists and 22 CU dental students lobbied over 60 state legislators on several issues. The key issue was Gov. Hickenlooper’s proposal to create an adult Medicaid dental benefit. A sizeable portion of Colorado’s population does not regularly visit the dentist for preventative and restorative care. These patients often depend on emergency room visits to deal with serious, preventable dental problems. This expensive cost driver can be addressed by the creation of an adult Medicaid dental benefit, and dentists strongly advocated for the creation of this benefit at Lobby Day.
This year’s event made a notable impression on Colorado’s legislators. Effective advocacy, however, takes more than just one visit to the Capitol. The CDA encourages year-round advocacy through its Action Team Leader network. Dentists interested in participating in legislative advocacy can contact CDA Policy Coordinator Shannon Fender at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-996-2848. Experience is not necessary to be involved with advocacy efforts; the CDA will provide all training materials to make dentists effective legislative communicators.
To see photos from this year’s event, visit the CDA’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cdaonline.