Representatives of the Washington, D.C office of Arnold & Porter, the AAO’s legislative counsel, attended recent political fund-raising luncheons and receptions on behalf the AAO Political Action Committee. They utilized networking with legislators and legislative staff and Q&A sessions to draw attention to AAO legislative priorities and orthodontists’ perspectives as health care professionals and small business owners.
Legislators hosting the events included:
● Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI-6). The reception for Rep. Grothman was also attended by Reps. Sean Duffy (R-WI-7), Mike Gallagher (R-WI-8), and Brian Steil (R-WI-1). Rep. Grothman touted his legislation to promote the adoption of competency-based education (CBE), which he said will help bring down student loan debt (although it would not necessarily impact student debt levels of orthodontists).
Rep. Grothman said it is possible Congress will come to an agreement on the Health Education Act (HEA) re-authorization, which will focus on student debt. In raising questions and concerns about the student debt issue, Arnold and Porter representatives described the recent Congressional testimony by AAO member Dr. Lauren Wiese. Dr. Wiese represented the AAO at a U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business hearing titled, “The Doctor is Out. Rising Student Loan Debt and the Decline of the Small Medical Practice.”
Rep. Duffy is already a sponsor of the AAO-supported RAISE Act, which would increase the cap on flexible spending account (FSA) contributions. Arnold & Porter representatives discussed the bill with members of his staff.
● Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC-5). Rep. Foxx is the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education and Labor and also serves on the Oversight and Reform Committee along with Rep. Grothman. Rep. Foxx said she hopes there will be progress on the HEA this year. She is not sure, however, whether Senate leaders (Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murry (D-WA) will come to an agreement.
Learn about the AAO’s Past Outreach to Rep. Foxx on the HEA Legislation