New York State and New York City-based orthodontists Drs. Kenneth Cooperman, Renee Pompei, Yon Lai and Deborah New recently represented the AAO Political Action Committee (AAOPAC) at a coffee in Manhattan with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Now in her first term, Senator Gillibrand is running for re-election in 2018. The AAO representatives discussed with her the importance of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Savings Accounts (FSAs) to the families they serve and the burden of excessive student loan debt.
Senator Gillibrand noted that HSAs and FSAs enjoy bipartisan support in Congress, and that she understands how important they are for non-covered medical expenses.
With respect to the student debt crisis, Senator Gillibrand discussed the fact that Congress is considering allowing refinancing at the federal government’s loan rate, and other proposals. She mentioned that she is also interested in looking at ways to bring down the cost of college by expanding online access, tying student loans and tuition to public service commitments, and strengthening community colleges and other alternatives.
Dr. John Callahan, the trustee from the Northeastern Society of Orthodontists, helped coordinate the AAO members' attendance at the coffee with Senator Gillibrand.
Related note: The AAO recently spearheaded an effort, which involved 14 other dental groups, who all endorsed proposed legislation in the 115th Congress that would allow graduates to more efficiently pay back student loans.