The Tooth Party Visits Capitol Hill

Written By: Ryan Twaddle, MUSoD '19

Ryan is the National ASDA Speaker of the House and an active member of the Marquette ASDA Legislative Committee

Last weekend, dental students and dentists from across the United States came together to lobby for causes that directly impact our profession. I hope over the course of the National ADA and ASDA Lobby Day you saw the #toothparty on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. You may be asking, “What exactly is this Tooth Party?” The Tooth Party serves as dentist’s political neutral zone when the ADA, ASDA, and ADPAC  are lobbying on Capitol Hill. It is evident when watching the news that DC and even the state houses are polarizing further than ever. We do not identify with either Democrats or Republicans as an organization, and, instead, we choose to support whoever is focused on the best interests of dentists and patients. 

However, how does “Tooth Party” neutrality work financially? During Marquette’s 2018 Advocacy Academy we had a presentation from Matt Rosetto the Director of Government Affairs for the Wisconsin Dental Association. He explained that funding to representatives come from the dentists and from the organization. They track who and which parties the funding goes to from individuals and then utilize the organization funding to level out between the two parties. This is crucial for keeping our organization and our needs in the minds of every congressperson, not just one party. Imagine if a majority of our support went to one party and the political climate changed. We rely on bipartisan support to push policy changes regarding opioids, higher education debt,and healthcare. 

Students can become ADPAC members for just $5. The American Dental Political Action Committee is the largest healthcare lobbying group behind the insurance companies. Students can also become members of the Wisconsin PAC for $25. Both PACs ensure your voice as a member of the Tooth Party is heard in Madison and Washington DC.

For more Lobby Day information click here

Contact Ryan at Ryan.Twaddle@mu.edu