As California Globe reported last week, a bill authored by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) to “protect consumers” from the popular orthodontic treatment using clear aligners, is highly dubious, may be a conflict of interest, and disproportionately hurts communities of color.
According to an op ed written for California Globe by Dr. Michael Guirguis who is a California dentist, the clear aligners, which entered the dental care market 6 years ago, have cut costs for orthodontic treatment by more than half and relieving patients from office visits. Yet despite this orthodontic treatment being used by more than 1 million consumers already, Assemblyman Low’s Assembly Bill 1998 requires that a patient could not receive any orthodontic treatment without first having a dental office visit and X-rays.
The Globe reported that Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green opposes Assemblyman Low’s “Dental Practice Act,” to require dentists to conduct in-person examinations instead of approving treatment plans for aligners. Green, an investor in teledentistry leader SmileDirectClub, has become increasingly vocal about the “Dental Practice Act” by urging California state senators not to approve the bill.
Now, the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce just issued a new digital video ad calling for the California State Senate to vote no on Low’s AB 1998. In the digital video ad, CHCC calls the dental legislation unfair because it makes dental care inaccessible and unaffordable for California’s communities of color.
Low admitted his bill “will disproportionately hurt communities of color” in an interview with USA Today about AB 1998 on July 19, 2020.
Julian Canete, Executive Director of CHCC said in a press statement: “We join Californians of color across the state to urge the state Senate to vote no on AB 1998. The Dental Practice Act is unfair to our communities of color because it would make oral care inaccessible and unaffordable.”
“Evan Low admits his bill will disproportionately hurt Blacks and Latinos – and we are just supposed to sit back and allow it to happen? We are joining together to oppose AB 1998, and we ask every lawmaker in California to do the same. This bill would block dental access and affordability to communities of color. We call on the state Senate to protect access to oral care for all Californians and vote no on AB 1998,” Canete added.
Notably, CCHC is joined by Black and Latino leaders, and these organizations opposed to AB 1998:
- California Community Economic Development Association
- Clinica Romero
- Midnight Mission
- Big Brothers
- Big Sisters of Orange County
- Learning Lab Ventures
- Assistance League of Redlands
- American TeleDentistry Association
- California NAACP
- Latin Business Association
- Brotherhood Crusade
- National Asian American Coalition
- California Black Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Sacramento Urban League
- CA Hispanic Chambers of Commerce
- National Diversity Coalition
- Black Small Business Association
- Compton Latino Chamber
- Prostate Cancer Research Institute
“When you have a guy in Evan Low, who can come out and be quoted saying, ‘This will disproportionately hurt communities of color’ and yet he’s still going to push a bill, he’s telling you what his agenda is,” Green said. “He’s telling you what he cares about, and Black people aren’t one of them. When you start talking about Black communities, we don’t have a voice.”
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