ASDA Advocacy - National Lobby Day and Beacon Hill Lobby Day - Tuft’s ASDA Legislative Liaisons Devon Ptak, Mohil Parakhiya, and Mythilee Kugathasan
ASDA launches grassroot initiatives to support dental students and the profession and works to establish a legacy of action-oriented advocacy on behalf of their members' patients and the practice of dentistry. This includes lobbying at the state and national level on behalf of the dental profession.
This year as Tufts’ ASDA Legislative liaisons, we attended two main lobbying events. The first event was Lobby Day in Washington DC, where nearly 1,000 dental students participated alongside ADA dentists to lobby for national issues in dentistry. This was the largest event in ASDA history. The second event was Beacon Hill Lobby Day, an event specific to lobbying on issues affecting Massachusetts dentistry. Over 250 Massachusetts dentists and dental students attended this event to lobby for the dental profession.
At both of these events, we were able to sit down with senators, state representatives, or their chiefs-of-staff to explain which bills we would like to see passed and how these bills would personally impact each of us. We were able to use our voice to link our peers at TUSDM to both organized dental associations and national government representatives. Summaries of some of the most important bills we discussed are listed below:
Examples of Bills discussed at Washington DC Lobby Day:
H.R. 372 Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2017
H.R. 1614 Student Loan Programs under the Higher Education Act
● Lower the interest rates on federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans as well as the total amount of interest that can add onto on federal graduate student loans.
● Reinstate eligibility for graduate and professional degree students to use federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans to finance their graduate education.
● Permit federal graduate student loans to be refinanced more than once to take advantage of lower interest rates and better economic conditions.
Examples of Bills discussed at Beacon Hill Lobby Day:
H. 2197 An Act Relative to Dental Service Corporations
Overall, as legislative liaisons, we were able to both learn more about advocacy and educate our ASDA chapter on current legislative issues. It showed us the impact of what advocacy and lobbying can have on our future as dentists, and we plan to utilize what we have learned for years to come.
Visit ASDA’s Engage website or contact one of your legislative liaisons right at your own chapter to find out more about the issues affecting dentistry today or how to get involved!
Tuft’s ASDA Legislative Liaisons
Devon Ptak, Mohil Parakhiya, and Mythilee Kugathasan