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ATDA’s Statement on Governor Grisham’s Anti-Competitive Veto of SB241

Today the American Teledentistry Association expressed disappointment in New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s decision to veto near unanimously-approved state legislation that supports extending access to affordable, quality oral care through teledentistry.

“Low income and rural New Mexicans seeking access to oral health care are hurting today,” said Dr. Marc Ackerman, DMD, MBA, Executive Director of the American Teledentistry Association. “According to data for the Centers for Disease Control, New Mexico has the highest prevalence of gum disease in the entire United States. With the number of practicing dentists in New Mexico being under 1,000, the Pew Charitable Trust has designated New Mexico a severally underserved State.  Sadly, this innovative legislation fell victim to the anti-competitive, clearly protectionist misstatements propagated by the New Mexico State Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontists.  Governor Grisham’s decision to veto Senate Bill 241 maintains this status quo and prevents New Mexicans from getting the oral health care they desperately need.”

Senate Bill 241 is citizen-first legislation advocating for New Mexicans by expanding access to remote care, utilizing store and forward technology and empowering patients to seek care.  SB241 passed in the State House (59-0) and Senate (37-1).

“The bigger picture is that the greater population of New Mexico is underserved for quality oral care. It’s not about the difference between in-office care versus remote care: it’s the difference between NO care and expensive care,” said Ackerman.

“Thanks to Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino and the entire legislature for continuing to advocate for their voters and rallying overwhelming support for safe and affordable innovations that extend access to oral care for all New Mexicans.”

Teledentistry is a revolutionary innovation in providing affordable, convenient and safe access to a dental professional for those patients who would otherwise not have access to care.

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