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A Great Dentist Goes to Washington Capitol Hill Meeting Logistics & Overview of Issues.

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Presentation on theme: "A Great Dentist Goes to Washington Capitol Hill Meeting Logistics & Overview of Issues."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Great Dentist Goes to Washington Capitol Hill Meeting Logistics & Overview of Issues

2 Why Does Advocacy Matter? U.S. Government must address the needs of: – Millions of Americans – Infinite number of issues – Thousands of advocacy groups Limitations: – Time – Money – Manpower If you want your piece of the pie, you have to educate and advocate!

3 How Do Members of Congress Decide Which Issues to Support? Serves a compelling national interest Strong local support from constituents Factually-based Anecdotal evidence

4 How Do Members of Congress Decide Which Issues to Support? Constituent communications do make a difference Just 5 – 10 communications can put an issue on a Member’s radar screen 20 – 100 communications is nearly always enough to sway a Member

5 Background on Congress What You Need to Know

6 The Basics House of Representatives 435 seats – elected by district Each district contains approximately 650,000 people More populous states have larger delegations Reapportioned every 10 years by state 2-year term Senate 100 seats – elected by state 2 Senators per state 6-year term - staggered

7 Division of Power House of Representatives 254 Democrats 177 Republicans 4 Vacancies Majority Rules Senate 57 Democrats 41 Republicans 2 Independents (Caucus w/ Democrats) 60 votes to be “filibuster-proof”

8 Committee Structure House of Representatives Appropriations – Labor, Health & Human Services, and Education Energy & Commerce – Health Subcommittee Ways & Means – Health Subcommittee Education & Labor Senate Appropriations – Labor, Health & Human Services, and Education Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Finance

9 Congressional Office / Staff Organization Washington, D.C. Office – Policy State / District Offices – Casework

10 Washington Office Organization: Legislative Staff Chief of Staff or Administrative Assistant Legislative Director Legislative Assistant Legislative Correspondent Legislative Assistant

11 Washington Office Staff: Non-Legislative Staff Chief of Staff or Administrative Assistant Appointment Secretary or Scheduler Office Manager Communications Director or Press Secretary Receptionist or Staff Assistant Interns

12 State / District Office Staff District Director Caseworker Scheduler

13 Tips for In-Person Meetings Be Prompt, Patient, and Polite – You have to be on time for the meeting; they do not. – Anger is not an effective advocacy tool, so focus on the positive. Be Prepared and Concise – You probably have no more than 15 minutes. – Make sure to have your facts straight - prepare or use "talking points". Be Responsive – Answer any questions to the best of your abilities. – If you do not know the answer to something, say so and offer to get back to them. – Provide “Leave-Behind” materials. – Offer yourself as a resource to the Member and his/her staff.

14 Tips for In-Person Meetings Follow Up! – Collect business cards from everyone in the meeting. – Write detailed thank you letters. – Hold the Member and his/her staff accountable. – Let AGD know about your meeting by filling out and mailing in your “scorecards”.

15 The Issues ERISA Reform Red Flags McCarran - Ferguson

16 ERISA Reform Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 – Every Ridiculous Idea Since Adam – Governs self-insured employee benefit plans Most large employers Health benefits

17 ERISA Reform Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ) Chair of House Education & Labor Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions H.R – The Dental Coverage Value and Transparency Act of 2010

18 ERISA Reform – H.R Prohibits dental benefits carriers governed by ERISA from capping fees for non-covered services Other Items – Coordination of benefits – Designation of payment to non-participating dentist – Equal reimbursement for in-network and out-of- network dentists – Prohibits bundling of payments – Prohibits changing benefit code

19 ERISA Reform – H.R. 5000: The Ask House: Please cosponsor H.R Senate: Please support H.R if it comes before the Senate and/or support companion legislation when/if it is introduced

20 Red Flags Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act of 2003: Prevent Identify Theft Federal Trade Commission (FTC) “Red Flags” Regulation (November 2007): – Requires financial institutions and “creditors” to implement written policies to address “red flags”

21 Red Flags No mention of health care providers in FACT Act or Red Flags regulation FTC ruled that health care providers are “creditors” – Federal statute: Any person who regularly extends, renews, or continues credit

22 Red Flags NOT the intent of Congress to include health care providers (especially small businesses) as creditors Red Flags implementation/enforcement delayed several times Currently, enforcement begins June 1, 2010

23 Red Flags – H.R Rep. John Adler (D-NJ) Excludes health care, accounting, and legal practices with fewer than 20 employees Passed the House in October 2009 by a vote of 400 – 0 FTC supports passage

24 Red Flags: The Ask House: Thank you for supporting the Adler bill Senate: Please urge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to bring H.R to the floor and pass it prior to June 1 st

25 Overturn McCarran - Ferguson McCarran – Ferguson Act: – Passed in 1945 – Reserves as the domain of the States the “business of insurance” – Exempts insurers from federal antitrust laws and regulations

26 Overturn McCarran – Ferguson States have proven unwilling or unable to regulate health insurers effectively Consolidation, monopolies / oligopolies Anti-competitive practices: – Price fixing – Bid rigging – Market allocation Providers and patients disadvantaged

27 Overturn McCarran – Ferguson Health care reform: – House included partial repeal of McCarran – Ferguson – Senate did not include repeal – Final version: no repeal

28 Overturn McCarran – Ferguson: H.R The Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act – Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA) Overturns the McCarran – Ferguson federal antitrust exemption for health insurers Permits antitrust oversight by the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission Passed the House in February 2010 by a vote of

29 Overturn McCarran – Ferguson: The Ask House: Thank you for supporting H.R Senate: Please urge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to bring H.R to the floor of the Senate and pass the legislation – NOTE: In February, 18 Senators joined Senate Judiciary Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in urging Sen. Reid to bring to the floor legislation overturning McCarran – Ferguson’s antitrust exemption for health insurers

30 Other Issues: Health Care Reform Several outstanding issues in implementation for organized dentistry: Insurance Reforms and New State Exchanges Implementation and definition of the new pediatric dental benefit Treatment of standalone dental benefit plans within the new state-run health insurance exchanges

31 Health Care Reform New Public Oral Health Programs Implementation of the new Public Oral Health Programs: – Oral health care prevention education campaign – Grants to support research-based dental carries disease management – Implementation of school-based dental sealant programs – Implementation of new funding for oral health infrastructure – Implementation of new authorities relative to oral health surveillance programs Implementation of grant programs for school-based health centers

32 Health Care Reform Dental Workforce Issues Changes to the Title VII dental workforce programs Implementation of and appropriations for the alternative dental health care providers demonstration Creation of the new National Health Care Workforce Commission Efforts to expand the dental health aide therapist (DHAT) program beyond Alaska

33 Health Care Reform Employer Responsibilities and Small Business Programs Implementation of employer responsibilities Implementation of new small business tax credit programs and other assistance programs Implementation of the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP)

34 Health Care Reform Other Miscellaneous Matters Efforts to address Medicaid reimbursement levels Regulatory efforts regarding changes to medical equipment to increase accessibility for the disabled Expansion of Community Health Centers program

35 Final Note Please fill out and send back your “scorecards” Good Luck!


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