“WSDA will continue to strongly advocate for HB 1655. We are working with multiple legislators to get dental amended back into the legislation as the process continues.”
This week, I had the privilege of joining hundreds of you in WSDA Advocacy efforts. At Dental Action Day, we advocated on our proactive legislative agenda to improve dental benefits, expand access to preventive care, and support the UW RIDE Program and Pacific Northwest University School of Dentistry. I was energized by the passion demonstrated by our members.
A significant topic of interest this week was HB 1655 which would require insurance companies to increase providers’ compensation annually based on the consumer price index. The coalition of health care organizations supporting HB 1655 (which includes WSDA) has targeted this legislation to support health care providers not affiliated with hospital systems. While HB 1655 was voted out of House Health Care Committee on Wednesday, lobbying efforts by Delta Dental of Washington resulted in standalone dental plans being excluded from the legislation. Throughout the week, hundreds of you provided written testimony in support of HB 1655 and in opposition to removing dental from the bill. This message was strongly reinforced by your colleagues in dozens of meetings with legislators at Dental Action Day.
WSDA will continue to strongly advocate for HB 1655. We are working with multiple legislators to get dental amended back into the legislation as the process continues. Please stay tuned in the days ahead for ways that you can support this important work. To sign up for our advocacy alerts on your phone, please text “WSDA” to 52886.
We all know the importance of oral health to overall health. Extending important patient protections and fair reimbursement into dental benefits is critical to achieving this objective.
Dr. Nathan Russell