2015 Lobbying Accomplishments

For Your Dental Practice

Permanent Increase of Section 179 Expensing Deduction
The ADA led the way for a permanent extension of Section 179 expensing, which allows for deductions of new equipment and property up to $500,000, with the deduction phased out for investments exceeding $2 million.

Two-Year Delay of Medical Device Tax.
ADA participated in a large coalition that advanced legislation to repeal the
2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices. A two-year delay provides additional time for the ADA and others to work to eliminate the tax in the future.

Reverse the Medicare Part D Prescriber Requirement.

The ADA is continuing to pursue a two pronged approach to the issue of enrollment in or opting out of Medicare as required by the Medicare Part D regulation. While the ADA fights for legislation to repeal this provision, the ADA is providing the best and most useful information for members to comply.

Two-Year Delay of Cadillac Tax.
There is a two-year delay of enforcement of the “Cadillac Tax”, which would impose a 40 percent excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health plans. The delay provides additional time to address the
unintended consequences associated with the tax, such as the adverse effects on FSAs that are used by many patients to pay for dental care.

Reform ERISA.
The ADA advanced legislation that would help consumers receive the full value of their dental coverage. H.R. 1677 requires all self-insured health plans that offer dental benefits to provide uniform coordination and assignment of benefits.

Amend the McCarran-Ferguson Law.
The ADA advanced legislation that would authorize the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department to enforce federal antitrust laws against health insurance companies engaged in anticompetitive activity. H.R. 494 has 96 Cosponsors.

For the Dental Profession

Upheld Prohibition on Use of Funds for Alternative Dental Health Providers.
The ADA defeated efforts to allow the Department of Health and Human Services to use funds to train or employ alternative dental health care providers, as authorized in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This prohibition has been in place for more than five years.

Fought for Military Dental Research Funding.
Funding will continue at $6 million. Military research units address dental disease and battle injuries.
Defeated Efforts to Reduce the Rank of the Chief Dental Officers serving in the Armed Forces. The Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1376) included a provision to reduce the rank of the Army, Air Force and Navy Chief Dental Officers. The ADA lobbied against these provisions and won.

Improving Medicaid.
The ADA, along with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, submitted comments to the
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on a proposed rule that aims to align Medicaid managed care plans more closely with plans offered in the commercial market. The proposed rule would require Medicaid managed care plans to adhere to a minimum loss ratio, provide actuarially sound rates and ensure network adequacy among other requirements. Similar requirements are already in place for any plans seeking certification as a qualified health plan to be offered in the marketplaces.

Non-Covered Services Legislation.
ADA, along with the American Optometric Association, helped craft the “Dental and Optometric Care Access Act” (DOC Access Act), H.R. 3323, which prohibits federally regulated dental or vision benefit
plans from dictating what a doctor may charge a plan enrollee for items or services not covered by the plan. 

Increased Support for the “Action for Dental Health” Bill. H.R. 539 will allow state organizations to qualify for oral health grants to support activities that improve oral health education and dental disease prevention. The ADA has secured 80 bipartisan cosponsors.

For Your Patients and the Public

Expanding Flexible Spending Accounts. H.R. 1185 would increase the annual maximum contribution to flexible spending accounts to $5,000 and permit rollover of all unused monies in the account.
Fluoridation. The ADA obtained a statement from the Surgeon General endorsing community water fluoridation, and also advanced a House resolution commemorating the 70th anniversary of community water fluoridation. The ADA also secured a $2 million increase in funding for the CDC’s Division of Oral Health for FY 2016.

Funding for the Indian Health Service, Division of Oral Health. With strong ADA support the dental account received nearly $178.3 million in funding for fiscal year 2016, more than a $4.3 million increase.
Funding for Dental Prevention, Access and Research Initiatives. ADA and other dental organizations successfully lobbied for additional fiscal year 2016 funding for dental access and prevention. This includes over $415 million for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, which is a $17 million increase; $35.9 million for oral health training programs with $10 million set aside for general dentistry residencies, a $1 million increase; and $10 million for pediatric dental residencies, also a $1 million increase.

Promoting Healthier Diets. The ADA lobbied for additional fiscal year 2016 funding for research examining the longterm effects of added sugars. The ADA helped secure a separate line for added sugars in a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed rule to revise the Nutrition Facts label(s) required for packaged foods. The ADA was part of a coalition that helped broaden the base of scientific literature federal agencies may draw from when formulating the next iteration of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Preventing Tobacco Use. The ADA successfully petitioned the FDA to deny a tobacco company’s modified risk tobacco product application to label ten snus tobacco products as less harmful to human health than smoking. 

The ADA successfully kept language out of the appropriations process that would have shielded electronic cigarette manufacturers from the FDA approval process that regulates the latest generation of tobacco products. The FDA approval process helps remove those products from the shelves if the agency deems them harmful.​