Saturday, June 10, 2017

Trump and Straight Talk About Teeth

Last year, many rallied behind Trump after listening to him talk about “the forgotten men and women of our country, people who work hard but don’t have a voice.”
“I’m running to be their voice,” Trump said. What they heard was a promise “to restore pride to the working poor.”
A big part of that promise was Trump’s assurance that he would build a “beautiful” health-care system that would cost less and do more. But nearly four months into Trump’s presidency, they see Trump backing a Republican health-care plan that appears to leave low-income people and the elderly worse off....

"...there’s the matter of payment. Teeth generally are treated separately from the rest of the body, a tradition that dates to dentistry’s origins as a specialty of barbers, who performed oral surgery and pulled teeth. Today, many public health officials view that division as a mistake. Poor oral health can lead to heart disease and other serious medical problems, and tooth loss can lead to depression and difficulty eating and speaking.
The separation extends to insurance. Even Medicare, the federal health program that covers 55 million seniors and disabled people, does not cover dental problems. For that, people must buy dental insurance, which typically limits annual benefits to about $1,500 per person—an amount that has barely budged in decades...."