H.R. 570: Dental Emergency Responder Act of 2011

H.R. 570

Dental Emergency Responder Act of 2011

March 8, 2011 (112th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Sarah Makin

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, March 8, 2011, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 570, under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage.  The bill was introduced on February 9, 2011, by Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX) and referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.  The Committee held a markup of H.R. 570 on February 15, 2011, and ordered the bill to be reported by voice vote.

Bill Summary

H.R. 570 would incorporate dentistry into the federal disaster response framework. 


Specifically, the bill would clarify that dentists may be considered voluntary disaster response public health workers and that states, at their option, could incorporate dentists and dental facilities into their planning.  The legislation would also provide for the inclusion of dental personnel and facilities in the National Health Security Strategy.  Lastly, the legislation would attempt to encourage stronger collaborations between the dental community and Department of Health and Human Services in developing the nation’s medical surgery capacity. 


The National Health Security Strategy, as defined in the Public Health Act, leaves out dental health facilities and dentists in the emergency response plan.  Because of this, dental schools have at times been denied federal public health and medical response training funds on the grounds that dentists are not identified by name in the federal definitions of “public health worker” and “emergency response provider.”


This legislation passed the House on a voice vote in the 111th Congress.


According to CBO, H.R. 570 would have a negligible impact on federal spending over the next five years; any additional spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.