The U.S. pays 17% of its Gross Domestic Product on healthcare. Germany and France pay about 10%. In the U.S. about half of the total population does not have adequate health coverage, when you include dental coverage as a necessary coverage. In France and Germany every person has 100% health and dental coverage.
Why didn't the Democrats forward an inclusive dental plan with their health-care option? Wouldn't that have made it incredibly more popular? Is this too hard to do? The savings associated with a dental plan included with a public option plan would have easily paid for the public overall plan in missed emergency room visits for dental-related problems and preventative medicine advantages.
You can help bring about vibrant change in our nation's health care by assisting the Dental Health Foundation. (details after the jump)
The U.S. population is thronging to mexico and thailand to get their necessary dental care. The prohibitive costs of dental plans that have pathetically low dental coverage is keeping people from the necessary care that is so vital for overall body health.
Poor dental care and gum disease is now directly linked as a contributing factor in overall body health (infection prevention, immune system) heart disease (arterial plaque), Stroke, Diabetes and even (especially!) pre-natal care for developing fetuses (link)
My own personal (pretty simple) example of U.S. dental care
After many years of being non-insured, I finally paid for a dental plan that I could afford and went into the dentist. I looked pretty good except for a cracked tooth from a very very old filling that had swelled (old fillings need to be replaced about every 25 years or they will expand and crack teeth!)
The expected payment for a cap on this cracked tooth was $2,200.00, while my insurance that I had already paid over $500.00 into would only cover $249.00 of the cost. (based on my geographic region). This was a prohibitive cost and I am still in need of care. Eventually this tooth will rot and flood my bloodstream with bacteria that could literally kill me.
This is why people don't have insurance. Just like the regular health care crisis, costs are prohibitive and the insurance companies are not putting out good plans that work within the current system.
Another potential failure for the Democratic Party?
More importantly though, why hasn't this been even mentioned? Put on the table whatsoever??? Nobody would be able to come up with a valid argument against it. It isn't like there could be some beauracratic "death panel" for grandma's dentures. . .It seems that having included this into the healthcare overhaul bill would have made it so much better, perhaps it is another indication that our representatives did not acutally want to put in a good bill? I don't know.
Putting a dental public option plan into the bill would have covered the costs of the entire health care overhaul bill and made it revenue positive.
In California, these effects are demonstrated by the 80,000 visits a year for preventable dental conditions. Left untreated, cavities and other routine dental problems can develop into serious infections that require immediate treatment, exacting a high cost both on patients and the health care system.
Please visit the Dental Health Foundation to learn more and help put a Public Dental Option on the table.