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Advocacy in Washington

Legislative ADVOCACY 

DTA actively represents the interests of dental companies in public policy and continues to expand its influence both in our community and in Washington, DC.

DTA continues to carry the message that there is a demonstrated return on investment for oral health coverage through The Business Case for Oral Health. Oral health is linked to overall health and there is growing evidence that providing oral health coverage can save on medical costs.

The dental community continues to promote good oral health through an oral health awareness initiative. The Children's Healthy Mouths campaign promotes brushing for two minutes, twice a day.



More Information On 2021 Coming Soon

Each year, DTA members meet with their members of Congress and staff in Washington, DC to build and maintain relationships to keep our message at the forefront. Through this event, DTA members increase their knowledge of the legislative process and learn effective advocacy techniques.

Over the last 8 years, members have worked together to have a total of 629 visits with their congressional representatives from across 25 states. This unified movement of the dental trade industry has brought many legislative victories, including the 2019 repeal of the Medical Device Excise Tax.

Coming Soon

Current Issues

Position: DTA urges Congress to consider exempting small volume health professionals, including dentists, from coverage under the Sunshine Act to reduce unnecessary burden.

The Physicians Payment Sunshine Act (PPSA), a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, requires medical device manufacturers to report payments or transfers of value to dentists that exceed $10. While dentists are covered under the definition of a physician, only about 25 percent of dentists participate in CMS programs. According to CMS, in its National Health Expenditures report, total expenditures for dental services in Medicare and Medicaid programs covered by this provision totaled $7.98 billion in 2013. That amounts to less than one percent of total expenditures for these programs. Equipment and supply costs in dental practices (which translate into the dental industry share) amount to less than 8 percent of the total practice income according to the American Dental Association. In general, we believe that the burden of reporting costs for dental manufacturers far exceeds any intended benefit of transparency in relationships with providers.

Position: DTA urges the Senate to consider the inclusion of Section 603 in any health policy legislation it considers during the remainder of the 116th Congress.

The oral health provisions of Section 601 of H.R.3 would provide coverage for preventive and screening services such as oral exams, dental cleanings, dental x-rays, and fluoride treatments. It would also cover basic and major treatments to include basic tooth restorations, basic periodontic services, tooth extractions, oral disease management services, major tooth restorations, major periodontic services, bridges, crowns, dental implants, and root canals. Dentures would also be covered with special limitations. Preventive and screening services would be paid under a fee schedule and Medicare would cover 80 percent of the cost. Medicare would pay 10 percent of major treatments starting in 2022 with this percentage increasing to 50 percent by 2026. Oral exams and dental cleanings would be limited to 2 per year.

Legislative Victories

The Medical Device Excise Tax was repealed at the end of 2019 after a second two-year suspension.

For taxable years beginning after 2015, the credit modified to allow an eligible small business (as defined in section 38(c)(5)(C) to claim the credit against both its regular tax and alternative minimum tax (AMT) liabilities. Beginning in 2016, certain small businesses also may claim the credit against the employer portion of their payroll tax liability, rather than against their income tax liability.

The increased expensing limit and phase-out threshold under section 179, $500,000 and $2 million, are now permanent. Those amounts had falledn to $25,000 and $200,000, respectively. Additionally, the extension bill permanently allows taxpayers to expense off-the-shelf computer software and qualified real property (i.e., qualified leasehold improvement property, qualified restaurant property, and qualified retail improvement property) under sectin 179, provisions that also lapsed at the end of 2014.

The act extends bonus depreciatin for qualified property in service over the next five years, subject to a phase-out schedule: 50 percent bonus depreciation in 2015, 2016, and 2017, 40 percent in 2018, 30 percent in 2019. After 2015, the bill allows bonus depreciation to be claimed on qualified improvement property regardless of whether the property is subject to lease, and removes the requirement that improvement is placed in service more than three years after the building was placed in service.