Letter: Value of ADA tripartite

Thirty-four state dental associations filed dental insurance reform legislation in 2023 resulting in 28 new laws in 13 states. I don’t believe any of this success would be possible without the support of the American Dental Association and its commitment to supporting dental insurance reform at the state level.

Tennessee recently hosted a Legislative Advocacy Workshop to prepare TDA members for the rigors of our own upcoming dental insurance reform campaign. The ADA responded by sending Chad Olson, director of ADA state government affairs, and Paul O’Connor, ADA senior legislative liaison, to Nashville to moderate. Sharing their vast knowledge and experience, they did an amazing job preparing our members, leaders and staff.  I feel far more confident that we will make a compelling case to our legislators after this workshop. Earlier in the summer, ADA State Government Affairs assisted Tennessee in securing and preparing for a meeting with the Tennessee Attorney General’s office to ask for enforcement of current laws related to dental insurance. The ADA also regularly supports our state dental associations’ legislative efforts with grants, strategy development and opportunities for idea sharing. The support provided by the ADA is crucial in enabling state dental associations to effectively advocate for dental insurance reform legislation and navigate the legislative process.

The collaboration between the ADA and state associations demonstrates the importance of a unified approach to achieving common goals for dentistry. I’m not sure why we have some colleagues that don’t value the tripartite. I feel certain they may not fully recognize the benefits or may not have explored the opportunities and resources available through their state dental association and the ADA. Such initiatives highlight the value of collaboration, education, and advocacy in the field of dentistry.

George “Chip” Clayton, D.D.S.
President, Tennessee Dental Association

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