Dentists in the US are already paying their patients in dollar bills and some are asking to be exempt from paying it in a lawsuit.
Dentists, many of them dentists themselves, have become increasingly used to having to pay for treatments that they wouldn’t have otherwise paid for themselves.
Dental school students are being forced to pay the cost of their own exams.
Dentists are being required to pay their own office rents.
The cost of cleaning up after patients and staff is being paid out of pocket.
Dentist-led hospitals are forcing dental students to pay bills and expenses for their own care.
In response, a group of dental students and their supporters have filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court in Washington, DC, alleging that state and local governments have violated their First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly.
They claim that their right to free assembly was violated by a state law requiring dentists to pay out-of-pocket for dental care.
The suit also alleges that the state’s law violates the First Amendment right to due process by requiring dentistry schools to have an independent board that can rule on student grievances.
The state’s attorney general and the state board of health did not respond to requests for comment.
In addition to the state law, the state also has a new state law that requires dental schools to reimburse dental students for out- of-pocket costs.
Dentistry schools can’t do that, and dentists and other medical professionals who don’t receive dental insurance don’t have to either.
In January, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced it was rescinding a state rule requiring dental schools that had enrolled more than 25% of students to reimburse them for out of-out-pocket dental costs, including the cost for dentistry school uniforms, office supplies, and dental insurance.
The department also said it was taking steps to address complaints about the state requirement.
A spokesperson for the department did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the lawsuit.