Orthodontists and Residents Descend on Capitol Hill
L. Jeffrey Lowenstein, DMD
As the swallows return to Capistrano, so do the orthodontists and orthodontic residents of the American Association of Orthodontists return to Capitol Hill each year overflowing with knowledge and insight for the congressional representatives of the United States. On February 26, 2019, well over 120 orthodontists and orthodontic residents assembled at the Marriott Marquis Hotel to partake in an information session on those bills that will be discussed the next day in the Senate and Representatives respective office buildings. NESO was well represented by orthodontists: Drs. Callahan, Hiller, Howard, Lowenstein, Mansour and New, along with residents: Drs. Cajero, Chay, Hsiou, Knowlton, Kurtzer, Kuyunov, and Lemchen. The enthusiastic interaction between orthodontists and residents was an added bonus to this “Fly-In” lobbying effort.
The next day, February 27, armed with our dental bill information pages on Student Loan Refinancing and Recalculation Act, Student Loan Refinancing Act, Dental Loan Refinancing Act, RAISE Act, and Medical Device Tax Elimination Act in hand, the confident and well organized orthodontists and orthodontic residents paraded to Capitol Hill after a breakfast and enthusiastic send off by “Lobbyist of the Year”, ADA’s senior vice president of government affairs, Mr. Michael Graham. Passing through the security checkpoint, with the Michael Cohen testimony in the background, it was exciting to see democracy in action. Following the scheduled legislative visits, the orthodontists and orthodontic residents returned to the Marriott Marquis Hotel to gather their items and catch an Uber to the airport and maybe a late lunch or early dinner before they boarded their flights back home. A rewarding and educational experience had by all in attendance.
BUT, Lobby Day does NOT need to be restricted to one day per year. Every orthodontist and orthodontic resident should be well acquainted with their United States Senator and Representative and know where to turn to acquire the latest information on the bills that are being discussed. If an AAO member has an issue concerning the rules and regulations with respect to the dental profession or any other legislative problems, a phone call, letter or email to their Senator or Representative will go a long way to having their opinion heard. During this election season, it is important to remember that YOUR VOTE COUNTS and YOUR VOICE should be heard where it can do so much good for everyone. Please feel free to contact me, Jeff Lowenstein (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you need any additional information or would like to attend next year’s AAO Professional Advocacy Conference.