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Regulatory

Improving policies to improve lives.

As you build your business delivering outstanding care to your patients – care they can pay for as effortlessly as possible – the AAO is with you. We are working to ensure nothing – particularly government policies – stand in your way as you work to achieve your goals.

The RAISE Act

The Affordable Care Act places an unnecessary cap on Flexible Spending Accounts at $2,600. This does not reflect the rising costs – nor does it give larger families the freedom they need to cover expenses.

We propose:

  • Increasing the cap to $5,000 per year
  • Allow additional contributions of $500 per dependent
  • Index limits for inflation
  • Remove “use-it-or-lose-it” provisions to allow families to save for major expenses

Healthcare Reform

Small businesses – like orthodontic practices – missed out on a lot of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. High premiums, even through Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Exchanges, have forced many to scale back coverage. We’re working on reforms to improve the situation, and support repealing and replacing key portions of the Affordable Care Act, provided sufficient transition plans are in place.

We are working to:

  • Expand pooling opportunities
    • Replace SHOP exchanges with system that allows employers to come together and negotiate with insurers, just like corporations and labor unions do
    • Build Association Health Plans, allowing associations to offer coverage to its members
    • Reduce healthcare costs to practice owners, thanks to increased buying power
  • Support Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs)
    • Give practices and other small business more freedom in offering employees health coverage
    • Allow practices to reimburse employees if they purchase coverage on their own
    • Support 21st Century Cares Act, which exempts small businesses from penalties if they offer assistance purchasing health coverage on the individual market
  • Repeal the medical device tax
    • Supported efforts to repeal the ACA’s 2.3% medical device tax. The tax was fully repealed in 2020

Small Business Reform

Many of our members are both medical professionals and business leaders. So while healthcare reform is important, so, too, are our efforts for small business owners.

We are actively working with members of Congress on a range of issues, including:

  • Lower tax rates for small-business owners
    • Reducing taxes will allow orthodontists to hire more staff and reinvest in business, driving economic development
  • Streamline regulatory requirements
    • Clear away decades of accumulating federal reporting and compliance burdens on small businesses (including orthodontic practices) that undermine our productivity
  • Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
    • The AMT means small business owners face undue complexity in handling their annual tax needs and penalizes them for their success
  • Preserve the value of middle-class tax deductions
    • The AAO supports tax reform, but is concerned about proposals to pay for reform, in part, by capping all itemized deductions at a number that hits millions of successful small business owners 

The AAO members, along with most other medical professionals and small business owners, are beneficiaries of deductions for mortgage interest, state and local taxes, and charitable giving, all of which may be harmed by efforts to artificially cap itemized deductions. Additionally, simplifying and expanding the itemized student loan interest deduction would incentivize more orthodontists (and other professionals who are saddled with excessive student loan debt) to pay their debt more quickly.

How can you help?

The AAO Political Action Committee ensures orthodontists’ voices are heard in the federal government.