ADA initiates grassroots campaign for next COVID-19 relief bill
By Jennifer Garvin
Washington — The ADA is calling on dentists nationwide to contact their legislators as Congress works on finalizing the next legislation relief package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an Aug. 6 Grassroots Alert email that went to dentists enrolled in the ADA’s Legislative Action Center, the Association asked dentists to visit the center to ask their senators and representatives to support key provisions in the next bill.
“As Congress looks to its next legislative package to help our country deal with this extraordinary crisis, we ask you to urge your members of Congress to include the following recommendations aimed at assisting dental practices, dentists, their staff and patients,” the alert said.
Here is what the ADA is urging lawmakers to include in the final version of the next bill:
• Provide tax credits to small businesses for the purchase of additional personal protective equipment and safety improvements to the office.
• Increase funding for Medicaid and protecting adult and child Medicaid dental benefits from cuts.
• Provide temporary and targeted liability protection to small businesses that follow applicable public health guidelines during the pandemic.
• Give additional flexibility for Paycheck Protection Program loans by allowing borrowers to take advantage of the Employee Retention Tax Credit, use the loans to purchase additional PPE or take out additional funds, and allow 501(c)(6) organizations to apply for the loans.
• Deduct expenses paid for with Paycheck Protection Program loans.
• Incentivize health care practitioners to work in health-disadvantaged communities that have been further undermined by COVID-19 by providing tax credits, federal grants, additional student loan repayment and other incentives.
• Ensure that funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Provider Relief Fund are not included as taxable income.
• Provide supplemental funding designated for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research to help the Institute re-launch its research priorities to pre-pandemic levels and help advance their COVID-19 research agenda.
• Investing resources in the public health infrastructure including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Indian Health Service.
Visit ActionCenter.ADA.org for more information.