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2015 Washington Conference

Event Date: 
April 14, 2015 to April 15, 2015

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Dental Trade Alliance Members Discuss Medical Device Tax and Other Issues with Members of Congress at Fourth Annual Washington Conference

On April 15th, Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) spoke to Dental Trade Alliance members to help kick off their day of visiting members of Congress to discuss the Medical Device Tax, Sunshine Act, the extension of Section 179, and the growing evidence showing the impact Americans’ oral health has on their overall health.  Rep. Simpson, one of three dentists serving in Congress, is a member of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee. 

Nearly 30 DTA members representing 20 companies in 10 states participated in the DTA Washington Conference. “DTA members can make a significant contribution to our efforts in Washington,” said DTA President and CEO Gary Price. “The impact of local voters on elected representatives is very strong. Bringing the message from back home really gets their attention.”

This annual event has become one of the most important ways for DTA members to help shape federal legislation and educate congressional leaders about oral health care and the dental industry, including:

Oral Health and Overall Health

The Dental Trade Alliance is a trade association representing distributors, manufacturers and laboratories that manufacture and supply products and services to oral health professionals. While we are a small portion of the total expenditure for health, the importance of good oral health is increasing as more and more studies show a link between oral health and health in the rest of the body. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease and low birth weight infants are linked to oral disease.

Medical Device Tax

The excise tax on medical devices disproportionately affects dental companies with a tax that equals 40 times the potential benefit from additional profits. While the Obama administration claims there will be windfall profits resulting from increased health care coverage, this is not the case for dental companies. Because of this, we are concerned that any increase in the cost of dental care resulting from the added tax will affect access to oral care.

Sunshine Act

The burden of reporting costs for dental manufacturers far exceeds any intended benefit of transparency in relationships with providers. The vast majority of dental consumable products and equipment are low-cost items and the choice of product will not influence patient care. The cost of establishing a mechanism to report and the actual reporting will add costs to the dental health care system. Any additional volume of items reported will require updating computer systems even for the smallest manufacturer. The majority of the added costs will be on patients and providers.

Extension of Section 179

Businesses need confidence that they can purchase equipment throughout the year and qualify for Section 179 depreciation deductions. Extending this important portion of the tax code, will spur significant growth for small and medium size businesses, which will lead to job creation.