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Protect, support, advance dentistry on Beacon Hill

As we enter the new legislative session, it is now more vital than ever that we gain support on Beacon Hill for the MDS 2011-2012 legislative agenda. Learn more about how you can contribute to pro-dentistry legislators, policies, and initiative by visiting www.massdental.org/advocacy today.

Our thanks to you

December 15, 2010

As you enjoy your holidays, do not forget to take the time to share your appreciation to those in your lives, including your local legislators who have worked hard to represent your interests in the State House. The MDS Governmental Affairs team would particularly like to thank the organizer dentists who have committed to advancing our grassroots efforts and those who have contributed to the MDS-PAC/MDS-People’s Committee. Your dedication and support ensures that dentistry remains properly represented on Beacon Hill, and your efforts do not go unnoticed!

Time to form those special legislative relationships

December 1, 2010

It is officially the holiday season, a time to celebrate your relationships with friends, family, and colleagues. Did you know one of the most important relationships you can develop is with your local legislators? Your senator and representative speak on behalf of your interests in the State House. If you haven’t formed these key relationships yet, it is never too late to do so. You can learn how to speak effectively to your legislators, attend, and even host informal coffee meetings with your colleagues and local legislators to discuss the importance of dentistry.

To learn more about this, visit the MDS Grassroots Advocacy page, join the MDS Grassroots Network, or contact Victoria Ryan, Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator, at vryan@massdental.org.

Action Alert: Prevent Maximum Allowable Fees on Non-Covered Services

November 17, 2010

As you may be aware, several national dental service corporations and dental insurers have announced new policies relative to non-covered services.  These policies set a cap on the amount that a participating dentist can bill a patient for services not covered by the plan, thus setting a maximum allowable fee for non-covered services. These policies have negative impacts for both patients and providers.

The Massachusetts Dental Society has filed legislation to prevent such policies from being implemented in the state. It is critical that you contact your state senator and state representative TODAY and urge them to co-sponsor An Act Relative to Financial Services Contracts for Dental Benefits Corporations. We need you to educate and gather support from your state legislators against insurance companies who seek to set prices for services they do not cover.

Follow these quick, simple steps to access the action alert, which you may edit for your legislators and request their support in the fight against non-covered services:

  1. Click here to view the Action Alert and press “Take Action”
  2. Enter your contact information into the applicable spaces and press “Send Message”
  3. On the next page, click the button labeled “Print Letters” below the names of your State Representative and State Senator
  4. Customize and print the letters that will open in a word document
  5. Sign and mail the letter to your legislators at the addresses listed on the letters. These addresses can also be found at www.malegislature.gov

In order for this legislation to pass, we need all of the support we can get. Do not forget to contact your colleagues and other local dentists and urge them to do the same.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact David White, Director of Governmental Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy, at 508-449-6025.

2010 MA Election Results

November 3, 2010

Among the celebrated wins last night, the Massachusetts Dental Society is pleased to report that 59 out of 62 pro-dentistry candidates supported by the MDS-PAC/MDS-People’s Committee were elected or re-elected into office. In total, there are 44 new members in the legislature, eight in the Senate and 36 in the House. Nine out of these 44 candidates received support from the MDS-PAC/MDS-People’s Committee.

We would like to thank those who supported the MDS-PAC/MDS-People’s Committee in our goal of increasing pro-dentistry lawmakers. We urge you to continue your support for the MDS-PAC/MDS-People’s Committee to ensure that dentistry remains properly represented in the State House. With 44 new legislators in office, this is our opportunity to strengthen the pro-dentistry environment on Beacon Hill and continue our legislative victories in the upcoming years.

Visit the MDS-PAC/MDS-People’s Committee home page to support pro-dentistry candidates, and the MDS Grassroots Advocacy home page to find out how you can get involved with the legislative process.

Vote in the MA State Elections

November 1, 2010

Decisions made on health care, small businesses, and employment all concern you as a dentist, and the results of the November 2, 2010 election will determine who represents your interests in the Commonwealth. Do not forget to head to the polls tomorrow, Tuesday, November 2, 2010, and vote for your local and state candidates. Visit www.wheredoivotema.com to find the location of your local polling station and a sample list of candidates on your ballot. Local polling stations will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on November 2.

You may be required to show ID at the polls. Remember to bring personal identification such as a driver’s license or another form of personal ID with your name and address or photo.

If you plan on voting with an absentee ballot, the deadline to apply is noon today. Make sure you apply for an absentee ballot if you will be out of town tomorrow.

Visit the following links for more information:

Your vote counts!

Berkshire District Grassroots Organizing

October 26, 2010

The Berkshire District Dental Society has been the first district to implement the new grassroots organizing plan developed by the Massachusetts Dental Society governmental affairs team.  This plan centers on member dentists serving as legislative district organizers, who then work to identify a team of advocates within the legislative district.  The grassroots team contacts legislators and their staffs as issues pertaining to oral health are brought before the legislature.  They also work to develop relationships between member dentists and lawmakers by hosting small events throughout the year to encourage a dialogue on the issues currently facing the field of dentistry.

Led by the district leadership, the Berkshire District Dental Society has identified an organizer for each of the State Senate and State Representative districts.  These organizers have developed a grassroots team for all five legislative districts, and have hosted a series of “coffee hours” throughout the fall for each legislator.  As a result, MDS and the Berkshire district have been able to thoroughly explain the issues and how they will affect dentists and their patients to lawmakers, including the non-covered services proposal and cuts to the MassHealth adult dental benefit.

The Massachusetts Dental Society is working to bring this program to all districts statewide!  If you would like to be the voice for oral health in your area or would like more information about the program, please contact Victoria Ryan, Coordinator, Grassroots Advocacy, at 508-480-9797 ext. 242 or vryan@massdental.org.

Register to vote today!

October 6, 2010

Political power literally rests in your hands when you vote. As of today, there is ONE WEEK left for you to register to vote in next month’s November state elections. If you have not already done so, see the post below to learn how to register.

Are you unable to vote at your local polling station on November 2nd? Visit this link on How to Apply for an Absentee Ballot for details on casting an absentee ballot. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is Monday, November 1, the day before the election.

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