Thursday, August 6, 2020
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Rich teeth, poor teeth- addressing the clearest indicator of economic class...

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By Kellen Squire Just after my daughter graduated from fourth grade, we took her to the dentist for her bi-annual checkup. After a series of...

Health Care Reform: We’ve Only Just Begun

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So, our country now has a new health reform program in place. (That is, barring the Supreme Court agreeing with Kookinelli and overturning legislation passed by a majority of the people's representatives. After all, they "elected" a president in 2000, so why not become the legislative branch, as well?)

Do we now rest on our laurels, saying, "That's one problem solved"? Instead, let's consider this statistic: It is estimated that more than 100 million Americans lack any dental insurance coverage, and that estimate was made before the "Great Bush Recession."

The extent of the problem of poor dental health in this nation is apparent in free clinics like the recent one held in Wise County. The majority of the 2,400 or so patients who came to the clinic in Wise needed to see a dentist. They were willing to wait days for the clinic to open, many sleeping in tents or in their cars.

While poor children on Medicaid are able to get dental care, their parents are not. The Washington Post told the story of one such person, Lucinda Honaker.

"I just can't afford it. The kids have got Medicaid, but no one will see [my husband and me]," Honaker said. Her husband, Charles, has diabetes and finds it almost impossible to eat the diet he is supposed to with his bad teeth. Since the family subsists on $800 a month take-home income, paying for dental care is impossible.

Today's Washington Post told other horror stories about the lack of basic dental care in the United States for perhaps one-third of our population, including the "least among us" who gathered in Wise.