U.S. Supreme Court Declares the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act Constitutional: What It Might Mean for General Dentistry

Chicago (June 28, 2012)—Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the Act). Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) President Jeffrey M. Cole, DDS, MBA, FAGD, issued the following statement:
“Although the Supreme Court found the Act to be constitutional, the decision does not address either the alternative provider program or the medical device tax. The AGD will continue its effort to urge Congress to repeal both programs. Meanwhile, a greater long-term concern might be the possible effect that the Court’s decision has on Congress’ ability to apply future penalties to the practice of dentistry.”
By redefining the penalty for violating an individual mandate upon residents of individual states as a federal tax, the AGD believes that the decision may significantly expand the power of Congress beyond the powers within the Commerce Clause. Essentially, it appears to allow Congress to expand its reach into penalization of residents, intra-state, or within each state, through the power of taxation.
“We are concerned about this expansion of Congressional power, because it may now allow federal control of the performance of dentistry through taxation. For example, the ruling may allow Congress to use taxation to compel what services are provided regardless of what state law allows,” states AGD Dental Practice Council Chair Richard Crowder, JD, DDS.
AGD Legislative & Governmental Affairs Council Chair Myron J. Bromberg, DDS, adds, “The power granted to Congress to penalize through taxation may significantly affect the future of the dental practice as we know it. It brings the federal government into the operatory between ourselves and our patients and that in itself may affect our ability to continue to deliver what we consider treatment to our patients.”
If you have any questions, please contact Lauren Henderson, AGD public relations coordinator, at media@agd.org.
About the Academy of General Dentistry
The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is a professional association of more than 37,000 general dentists dedicated to providing quality dental care and oral health education to the public. AGD members stay up-to-date in their profession through a commitment to continuing education. Founded in 1952, the AGD is the second largest dental association in the United States, and it is the only association that exclusively represents the needs and interests of general dentists. A general dentist is the primary care provider for patients of all ages and is responsible for the diagnosis, treatment, management, and overall coordination of services related to patients’ oral health needs. For more information about the AGD, visit www.agd.org.


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