Dental offices are among the most vulnerable sectors of our society, with millions of Americans struggling with chronic disease and the health risks of a toothbrush that is left to dry.
And, as a recent decision by a federal appeals court underscores, many of the most expensive, dangerous, and potentially life-threatening dental practices are located in the dental industry.
The decision came in a lawsuit filed by the American Dental Association (ADA) against the Trump administration’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which regulates the mortgage lending industry.
The ADA is seeking to hold the Trump Administration accountable for a wide range of alleged violations of consumer protection laws.
In response to the lawsuit, the Federal Reserve Board and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) filed a motion asking the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to review the case.
In doing so, they are seeking a stay of the case while they work on a final determination.
In a brief, the OCC argued that the ADA is a “publicly-traded business” that “cannot be exempted from the CFPB’s oversight,” noting that the Trump Administrations “subsidies, funds, and subsidizes” the ADA through its “funds-for-services program.”
In other words, the ADA cannot simply “be exempt” from the government’s regulatory oversight.
The ADA, however, does not dispute that its activities fall within the purview of the CPPB.
Instead, it argues that the federal agency is not a “private entity” that can be “exempt from the rulemaking process,” but rather an agency created by Congress to enforce the CMPB’s rules.
“The CPPP’s authority to oversee the mortgage market is clearly broad, encompassing all aspects of the lending and credit markets, including but not limited to, the servicing of mortgages, the purchase and sale of mortgages and related debt securities, and the servicing and servicing of credit card transactions,” the OCR argues.
“CPPP is also empowered to investigate and, if necessary, prosecute fraud and abuse in the mortgage, credit card, and related markets, and to investigate the effectiveness of consumer protections in these markets.”
The OCC’s argument rests on two core claims.
First, that the CPGB is not an agency that has “the statutory authority to regulate any of the activities” that it has “regulated” under the CNPB.
Second, that its “investigations are sufficiently comprehensive to encompass the broad range of conduct that the agency regulates.”
The OCC asserts that it is merely “seeking to prevent the CPMB from regulating a wide variety of mortgage products, including the types of loans that it regulates.”
As a result of this argument, the agency cannot be required to issue a final ruling on the ADA’s case because it cannot be compelled to do so.
However, the Court of Appeal agreed with the OTC, ruling that the OCP’s arguments were “not persuasive.”
In other words: the Court found that the ACA is not “excluded from the regulation of consumer lending because its activities do not fall within one of the broad regulatory categories covered by the CPNP,” and that the “OCC’s [agency] mandate does not violate the statute.”
However, the case is far from over.
On January 15, 2018, the U.N. General Assembly passed Resolution 194, which amended the CPLB to include dental practices as “entities subject to regulation.”
The resolution requires the CCPB to “adopt regulations and procedures” that ensure that dentists and other health care professionals have access to the best available scientific evidence in order to make informed decisions about the risk of tooth decay.
The resolution also directs the CPCB to ensure that the dental profession and the consumer are “free from any undue influence, interference, or exploitation by any person.”
This resolution, as written, has not been subject to judicial review, and it remains in effect today.
on December 17, 2019, the Ninth U. S. Circuit Court issued a stay order on the CPAB’s enforcement of Resolution 194.
According to the OSC, the stay order was not an interpretation of the resolution, but rather a determination of the legality of the stay, which means that the stay is not being challenged.
At the heart of the OPC’s argument against the administration’s claims is a theory of “rational justification.”
The agency claims that the regulation’s purpose is to ensure the integrity of the mortgage and credit card markets, by making it more difficult for unscrupulous lenders to obtain and hold unsecured credit cards.
This would presumably mean that the administration is concerned that the issuance of the ADA complaint is an attempt to undermine the validity of Resolution 196.
But, the court’s argument does not make this argument.
Rather, the resolution is premised on the idea that “the