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2018 Washington Conference

DTA efforts to Repeal Medical Device Tax and Amend the Sunshine Act Continue

Event Date: 
April 10, 2018 to April 11, 2018

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The 2018 Washington Conference was a tremendous success. DTA members had almost 50 meetings with U.S. Senators, Representatives and staff.  The focus this year was to thank legislators for suspending the medical device tax and urge them to fully repeal the tax.  DTA members continue to inform members of Congress about the importance of good oral health and the potential for significant financial savings because of oral health care’s positive effect on overall health.  This year, members also requested the exclusion of dentists from the Sunshine Act reporting.

Member participation in DTA’s advocacy efforts is critical.  Dan Dixon, VP of Business Development with Kavo Kerr commented, “After years of being actively involved in the DTA, this year marked my first time participating in the Washington Conference. It is a perfect example of how individual companies can leverage our position as members of the DTA on a broader scale, to have influence on oral healthcare. Truly a valuable and rewarding experience!”

At the Washington Conference legislative briefing, members heard about the importance of coming to Capitol Hill and speaking to the issues that affect the dental industry from Nick Uehlecke, staff member of the US House Committee on Ways and Means. They also heard from DTA’s legislative representative Patrick Cooney, about issues facing DTA in Congress.  Points included ways to foster stronger relationships with members of Congress.

The second day, DTA members heard from Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) who serves on the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Rep. Bilirakis shared his insights on Congressional goals and concerns for 2018.

Karen Neiner, VP of Corporate Development of Hu-Friedy and President of Palmero Health, summed up the spirit and goal of the Washington Conference noting that, “Advocacy requires clear messaging and persistence and the DTA continues to demonstrate that with its ongoing efforts with the Congress”.

The outreach to Capitol Hill isn’t limited to only in-person visits as John Frymark, VP and General Manager of Microbrush International pointed out, “I’ve also seen an employee engagement impact.  There is a stronger connection point to these issues as I write about them in my column of our employee newsletter and then having the Congressman visit our company in person really made it tangible.”

Please contact us for an advocacy packet to share with your representatives by e-mail or by inviting them to your place of business.  As Patrick Cooney pointed out during the briefing session “you are a deputy lobbyist who can make a real difference in influencing Congress”.

“These face-to-face visits on Capitol Hill have a direct impact on the key issues facing dental distributors, manufacturers and laboratories every day,” said DTA President and CEO Gary Price. “Our DTA members are THE essential element of our Washington presence.”