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ASDA's National Lobby Day brings delegates from across the country to Washington, D.C. This is an opportunity for students to talk to legislators, and push for changes in legislation centered around dentistry. It's one of the many ways ASDA thrives in organized dentistry and advocacy!

This year, our current President, Malika Malik, won the award for "District 6&7 Legislative Liaison of the Year" when she served as the Legislative Liaison for our chapter this past year. We are so proud and thankful for her hard work with making advocacy a priority at our school. Thank you and congratulations Malika!

Attendees lobbied the following issues during their congressional appointments:

Student Loan Programs and the Higher Education Act: We will urge Congress to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, which is several years overdue for reauthorization, and to combat the exorbitant amounts of dental student debt.

Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act: Attendees will ask for support in amending the McCarran-Ferguson Act to empower the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice to enforce the full range of federal antitrust laws against health insurance companies engaged in anticompetitive conduct. 

Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act: Dental students and dentists will support this act to ensure that children suffering from congenital anomalies and birth defects are able to receive the treatment they need. 

ASDA's 2020 Dental and Student Lobby Day will be held April 26-28th in Washington DC!


What was the coolest thing you experienced at National Lobby Day?

Olivia: The coolest thing was experiencing firsthand the process of activism and conversing with state representatives in the nation’s capital. I have been intimidated by the political side of things in the past. However, working with fellow dental students and dentists from across the country for a common cause was such a fun and empowering experience that I hope to become more politically involved.


Joey: The coolest thing for me at National Lobby Day was getting the chance to meet other dentists and dental students from around the state of Michigan and the entire country, all while representing U of M Dental.”


What was the most meaningful conversation you had?

Joey: The most meaningful conversation I had involved discussing potential future legislature that could allow better refinancing of student loans, as well as prevent interest accruement until after graduation

Olivia: The most meaningful conversation I had was discussing the expansion of insurance to cover more oral surgeries in medically complex patients. Private insurance companies currently deem surgeries in cases such as cleft lip/cleft palate patients to be purely esthetic. However, these patients often need multiple surgeries to restore basic oral functions and deserve to have these procedures covered.


Do you recommend this event to anyone else for the future?

Olivia: Absolutely! I plan on attending again next year!

Joey: I would recommend this events and others like it to any and all dental students, D1 through D4. As a first time attendee of National Lobby Day, I had the opportunity to gain some knowledge of the issues facing our profession and have a voice. The event is full of dentists and dental students interested in the well-being of dentistry and its future, and that great sense of the pride and unity was neat to be apart of.

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