Lobby Day in the Life
If democracy dies in darkness, then dentists, with dental lamps and loupes in hand, are doing their part and then some to keep our republic alive. For the second consecutive year, ASDA has joined forces with the American Dental Association for a productive, enlightening, social, and all-around fun Lobby Day. Over one thousand students and dentists from across the country, from the beaches of Miami to the peaks of Alaska, joined together to advocate for their past, present, and future patients from April 8-10th, 2018. It is with no small amount of pride that New York exhibited the largest delegation of any state, almost one hundred strong. Stony Brook did its part and then some, sending sixteen of its number to push Congress to follow the ADA’s lead on opiate prescription monitoring, knock down anti-competitive legislation exploited by insurance companies, and continue service-oriented student loan repayment options.
Thoroughly knowledgeable and suitably fired up after a series of networking events, panel discussions, and speeches, the legions of ASDA were set loose upon Capitol Hill, with Tooth Party pins on their lapels and talking points in hand. Every congressman and senator’s office had a visit scheduled, and whether it was through his or her staff or face-to- face, the response was uniformly warm. ASDA’s strict policy of nonpartisanship and support of broadly agreeable topics means that even in a heated midterm year, bipartisan legislative progress, on opioids, for example, is very possible. Many congress members also appreciate these rare opportunities to break from the grind of left-right politicking.
On a closing note, it was a tremendous honor and personal pleasure to help ASDA uphold its mission and keep dentistry an outstanding career. Events such as Lobby Day truly exemplify America at its best: dentists from all different walks of life working together, representatives engaging in open and cordial dialogue with their constituents, and good ideas rising to the top, eventually becoming laws that serve the best interest of the American people, just as our founders intended.
Blog Contributor: David Minoli, Stony Brook, '21
Class of 2021, Curriculum Representative