June 07, 2010
ADA victory in Senate vote to exempt dental practices from financial bill requirements
By Craig Palmer
Washington -- The full Senate May 12 unanimously approved an amendment offered by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) that would exempt dental practices and other eligible small businesses from the jurisdiction of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as proposed in the Restoring American Financial Stability Act (S. 3217).
The amendment would exempt small businesses as defined by the Small Business Administration, which includes 99.8 percent of all dental practices. The very small number of dental offices not expressly covered by the SBA definition will be exempt through another provision in the bill.
Without this amendment, dental practices and other small businesses that allow their patients or customers to pay in installments more would have been subject to the same regulations as large banks and credit card companies.
The ADA lobbied hard on this issue, working with senators from both parties, as well as business groups and other dental and medical organizations, to bring the matter to their attention and develop an acceptable solution.
The House version of this bill does not have a dental exemption. The bill will be subject to a House-Senate conference action