At the recent Advocacy Meeting in Washington, IAGD Legislative Chair, Dr. Stephen Thies, met with Representative David Young (June 2016)
I recently had the pleasure of a meeting with Representative David Young of the third district of Iowa at my office. Congress was on recess. He nicely responded to my request for a meeting at my office. We had very good discussion about current issues affecting dentistry. First and foremost we discussed midlevel dental providers. Under the Affordable Care Act, HRSA has been authorized to fund the Alternative Dental Provider Demonstration Program which creates midlevel providers.
Funding has not been provided by the program and the House Appropriations Committee expressly prohibited the use of health workforce funds to use for the demonstration program. I explained the inadequate education of midlevel providers for the complicated involved procedures of restorative dental treatment. A dentist should be the only provider of restorative treatment.
Midlevel providers do not have the training necessary to provide proper treatment. He understands that funding has not been provided for the implementation of the midlevel providers. The lack of funding will continue due to the sequestration. He was receptive to the inadequate ability of midlevel providers to provide dental treatment. Secondly, funding for the CDC Smoking Prevention Program has been reduced substantially.
I explained the benefit of the program in education for young adults and teens about the health problems involving tobacco. He explained that funding for IAGD Representative David Young all programs has been reduced due to sequestration. A compromise funding bill has been written but it may not pass. Negotiation will be required.
The final funding bill may provide more funding for the CDC. Lastly, dental residency programs for general dentistry, pediatric dentistry, public health dentistry have had funding reduced. I explained that general dentists and pediatric dentists are the front line in providing dental treatment. We are the primary care providers. The residency programs develop the skills necessary for primary care dental providers. Public health residencies develop dentists for service in public health settings, specifically serving the underserved and the community health programs. Again, he explained that the reduction in funding was due to sequestration.
He was receptive to increasing funding for the programs. However, an increase in funding is dependent upon a future funding bill. The meeting was very friendly. He took notes and was interested in the discussion.
Stephen Thies, DDS
IAGD Legislative Chair
Download the full report here: Legislative Report – Winter 2015
Dr. Steve Thies recently attended the AGD’s Hill Event in April of 2015.