Why support ADPAC? As an ADA student-member and an ADPAC board member I would tell you it’s because we are part of the greatest profession and need to protect it. Even more importantly, we need to protect the public from the threat of substandard care. ADPAC is the way that we protect quality dental care and dentistry as we know it – a professional-driven system that is, has, and always will provide excellence in care.
If you read the Wall Street Journal, you might have noticed the article by Alicia Mundy titled “The Health PAC to Watch? Dentists”. The article identifies ADPAC as the “largest single health-care political-action committee.” Not only is ADPAC the largest, but it is also one of the most effective at championing candidates and legislation we support. In 2008, 90% of the candidates ADPAC supported were elected. ADPAC supports legislation that will help patients continue to receive quality dental care while applying current practice models that are consistently successful at providing excellent care. Some of the most recent issues have included public water fluoridation, Medicaid and insurance reimbursement rates and dental coverage, student debt and mid-level providers.
The WSJ article also reports ADPAC spent $2 million on federal candidates in 2008 and $13 million on state and local candidates in 2010. Although the amount is considerable, it is dedicated to a myriad of different issues, initiatives, primary and general elections that demand attention and support. Some of the candidates that we support the most are our fellow dentists who have taken the time out of their lives and practices to run for office and serve both our country and profession. Dentist-legislators like Congressmen Paul Gosar, D.D.S. (R-AZ) and Mike Simpson, D.M.D. (R-ID) work tirelessly to make America a better nation for its citizens, and that includes protecting their dental health care needs and rights.
So, again: why support ADPAC? As future dentists, it is crucial is that you ask questions and get involved. Ask your ASDA leaders, ADPAC representatives or your local ADA leaders how you can support advocacy efforts. Last year, less than 15% of ASDA members were ADPAC members. We can do better. It costs only $5 to become a student member and $50 to be a Capitol Club student member premier. Dentistry is something to be proud of and something worth fighting for. If you believe this like I do, take the time to educate yourself on the issues and join the ranks of those that donate to ADPAC and protect our profession.
Ross Isbell, ADPAC Student Director, UAB ’14