May 10, 2010
The ADA hosts a legislative and lobbying conference in Washington, D.C. each spring that provides a mix of prominent speakers, issue briefings, grassroots education and political training. Eight CDA dentists represented Colorado at this year’s conference, held April 12-14: 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.
During the conference, the CDA scheduled meetings with the nine federal senators and representatives for Colorado. This year’s delegation met directly with Sen. Michael Bennet and representatives Jared Polis (D-2nd), John Salazar (D-3rd), Betsy Markey (D-4th), Mike Coffman (R-6th) and Ed Perlmutter (D-7th), and prominent staff members in most remaining offices.
The delegation discussed three primary bills:
• HR 4626, a bill to repeal the McCarran-Ferguson anti-trust exemptions for insurance companies, eliminating anti-competitive behavior, expanding marketplace competition and providing more coverage options for consumers. We thanked members of the U.S. House for their support and asked the Senate to bring the bill forward for a vote.
• HR 3763, a bill to explicitly exempt healthcare providers from the FTC’s “Red Flags Rule,” correcting an overbroad interpretation of this law. We thanked members of the U.S. House for their support and asked the Senate to bring the bill forward for a vote.
• HR 5000, a bill to correct unfair practices by ERISA-protected insurance plans, including such practices as thwarting coordination and assignment of benefits, discrimination in payment for services of non-participating providers, bundling and down coding of procedures, fixing prices on non-covered services and more.
In addition, Colorado dentists offered their feedback regarding healthcare reform discussions, emphasizing their concern with the lack of attention to adult oral health in the bill and the failure to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for primary care dentists, in spite of this change being implemented for physicians.