AGD Meets with Senators to Discuss Oral Health Literacy Bill

  • by AGD Washington Advocacy Representative
  • Mar 16, 2022
On Monday, AGD met with the offices of Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) to discuss sponsoring H.R.4555, the Oral Health Literacy and Awareness Act. The meetings are part of a larger advocacy effort to introduce H.R.4555 to Senators and staff on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and identify sponsors for its formal introduction in the U.S. Senate.

H.R.4555 was developed in partnership with the AGD and Representatives Tony Cardenas (D-CA) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL). The legislation directs the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to create a 5-year public health education campaign across various HRSA programs. HRSA will use evidence-based communications and strategies to increase oral health literacy within specific at-risk populations, including children, pregnant women, the elderly, individuals with disabilities, and ethnic and racial minority groups. 

AGD championed efforts to secure appropriations for the development of the campaign in years past and advocated strongly for its passage through the U.S. House. The legislation passed the House by a 369-58 vote in December of 2021.

Impact on General Dentistry: For years, the AGD has made advancing H.R.4555 through Congress a key part of its advocacy agenda. AGD believes the legislation will help make oral health literacy a public health priority, leading to increased funding and other support for oral health literacy related education, research, and interventions.