Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Problems with wording

This is an outstanding example of why the government isn't good at lots of things. The GAO has determined that kids on medicare can not get dental care.
Nationwide, only one in three children covered by Medicaid had received any dental care in the year before the survey was carried out, the report found. 14.8 percent of Medicaid recipients said their children had not gotten necessary dental care because their dentist refused to accept Medicaid, the report said. About one in eight children reportedly never sees a dentist, while more than half of children with private health insurance had received dental care in the prior year, it adds. More than 5% (1.1 million children) of Medicaid children reported to have dental conditions like tooth fractures, oral lesions, chronic pain. The percentage is 4 times higher than the number of children with private coverage that had urgent dental conditions.

Medicaid is the joint federal and state program that provides health care coverage for low-income, blind and disabled people.

“We estimate that 724,000 children aged 2 through 18 in Medicaid could not obtain needed care,” the report added.

That's rediculous. Of course they can get care. They just didn't. Dentists are remarkably easy to find... many even have a picture of a tooth in the window. Making an appointment just takes a minute or two. So they can get care. That many don't doesn't indicate a failure of the health care system, or even a failure of Medicare. It doesn't mean dentists are greedy mean people in it just for the money (my neighbors D and R are both dentists, and both donate their time for people in need.) Not accepting Medicaid doesn't mean they don't provide care. I'm pretty sure there are dentitsts that do take Medicaid, you just have to find them.

It seems just as likely to me those kids aren't getting dental care because their parents never take them to the dentist. I bet lots of those parents have cable. Lots of them have HBO. Lots of them smoke cigarettes. But they don't have the money to get their kid to the dentist.

No comments: