A survey done by The Wealthy Dentist back in 2011 stated that most dentists don't want a National Dental Health Care system. Somehow the title of the publication gives a big clue to who was surveyed. The dentists they surveyed were probably not dentists who believe in the "Patch Adams" philosophy of health care. They are more like Gordon Gecko in the movie Wall Street when he says "Greed is good" and "Whats worth doing is worth doing for money."
If you have ever had dental insurance that was inexpensive, such as a DMO (or an HMO), you know everything preventive is usually covered. You might also find out it takes you forever to get in for a cleaning appointment and sometimes even for dental work. Why is this happening?
Dentists need a certain amount of patients booked in their schedule that are full fee patients to support their practice and turn a profit. Patients with better insurance get booked more quickly. More often than not the person at the front desk is told to book as many of the full fee patients as possible to boost production. They are also told to put off the patients that they get a minimal fee for every month that are covered by DMO or HMO dental insurance plans. Receptionists are only given a certain amount of openings for the patients on HMO plans per day or one day is set aside just to see these patients. Receptionists are told by the dentist in some cases that they won't be able to cover overhead expenses if the receptionist books all DMO or HMO patients. In turn this way of doing business gives patients the idea that an office is so booked and busy that they just can't get in. That is true for some offices. When they can't fill the full fee patient spots some dentists will actually reschedule DMO patients to reduce costs by sending employees home early. Many times a dentist does not want to book cleanings for low cost insurance patients. This is because some dentists feel that HMO patients don't even bring enough money to make it worthwhile for the office to provide the service.
The problem is that more and more people are going without dental care. Employers are cutting back on dental insurance if they even carry it at all for their employees.
On March 10, 2010 President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. A few days before this was voted on in Congress the President of the American Dental Association sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying the ADA opposed the Affordable Care Act. It was because the bill was missing "a commitment to improve the oral health for those citizens at the lowest end of the economic ladder." This was according to Landmark - America's New Health Care Law and What it Means For All of Us (Washington Post, p. 186).
There is a list of letters and position statements on the ADA's web page. The particular letter listed in the book above could not be located in a search for this letter as quoted by the Washington Post. One of the letters sent to Nancy Pelosi in early January, 2010 by ADA President Ronald Tankersley and ADA Executive Director Kathleen O'Loughlin was more concerned with the McCarran-Ferguson Act. This Act is about exempting insurance companies from federal anti-trust regulation. A second letter about this same McCarran-Ferguson Act issue was also written by the President of the ADA on January 29th again to Nancy Pelosi. House Speaker Pelosi sure was being sent a lot of correspondence from ADA officials at the time. It must have made it difficult for her to realize what was the most important out of all of the letters she was receiving.
"For millions of patients and consumers, most of whom are middle and low income working Americans, the excise tax is unfair and punitive, and would lead to reduced preventive, primary care services." This was stated in another letter was written to Nancy Pelosi by a lot of dental associations saying they opposed the National Health Care Plan. This included; Academy of General Dentistry, Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, American College of Prosthodontists, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Association of Orthodontists, American Dental Association and the Hispanic Dental Association.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) took up the dental cause and spoke to Congress about how people in this country are dying from a lack of dental care in some cases. In July of 2012 Sanders also spoke at a dental clinic and stated that 130 million Americans are without dental insurance.
Sanders spoke yesterday about spending money on wars rather than on health care.
“My Republican colleagues say that the deficits are a spending problem, not a revenue problem. What these deficit-hawk hypocrites won’t talk about is their spending. They won’t discuss what they did to dig the country into this $1 trillion deep deficit hole. They waged wars in Afghanistan and Iraq without paying for them. They gave away huge tax breaks for the rich. They squandered taxpayer dollars on the pharmaceutical industry by making it illegal to let Medicare bargain for lower drug prices. They also rescinded financial regulations that enabled Wall Street to operate like a gambling casino, leading to a severe recession that eroded tax revenue and left more than 14 percent of American workers unemployed or underemployed.
Now, despite the deficits their policies helped to create and despite the enormous suffering which exists in our society, the Republicans want to cut Social Security, veterans’ programs, Medicare, Medicaid, education, nutrition programs, and virtually every program which benefits low- and moderate-income Americans. They choose to turn their backs on the economic reality facing a significant part of our population: high unemployment, reduced wages, 50 million without health insurance, college graduates saddled with enormous student debt and elderly people living in desperation. And they have tried to slam the door on any further discussion about how to raise revenue by ending tax loopholes and unfair tax breaks.”
Sanders gets a lot of air time for a reason. Many people agree with him because they are getting poor health care or no health care because of a lack of coverage and government help. People are tired of paying for a never ending war and prisoners who get health and dental care. This is especially true when many American citizens are following the law, not in jail and yet are going without health and dental care.