I don’t know if the story I am about to link to is a very widespread issue or not, but if you believe the article it would seem that it is, and growing worse.Â This is an article about a young lady who could not find proper dental care under the new national program put in place in April 2006 by the British government.Â I am neither in support of nor opposed to nationalized healthcare here in the US.Â I believe both sides of this debate make some preposterous claims as well as some viable claims.Â Â Â Setting aside your own beliefs over whether nationalized healthcare is good or bad, read at the Daily Mail about a young lady who had to have all her teeth removed due to long-term gum disease issues that she could not find a dentist to help resolve.
Like so many young women, Amy King always took great pride in her appearance.
Standing in front of the mirror to check her make-up before a night out, the 21-year-old would always try a smile – friends told her they loved the way it lit up her face.
Eight weeks ago, all that changed. The student from Plymouth was admitted to hospital where, in a single operation, she had every tooth in her mouth removed.
Amy, whose dental problems were caused by untreated gum disease, does not go out any more. And when she looks in the mirror she hardly recognises the face staring back at her.
This is absolutely an extreme case.Â It is not indicative of how nationalized medicine does or does not work.Â The problem here appears to be over the management of the nationalized dental care, not the mere fact that it is nationalized.Â I point this out, because one cannot look at this one case and claim nationalized care programs do not work.Â On the other hand, proponents of nationalized healthcare cannot wave this away as a complete aberration that should not be evaluated when discussing nationalized coverage.
According to the article, teeth extractions in the hospital are up a statistically significant amount.Â There is also an increase in the time it takes to get dental care, as well as suggestions that more advanced problem cases are not getting proper treatment due to how the national dental contract works.Â Furthermore, there is an increase in home-care for dental issues.Â This article even mentions a specific case of a woman pulling her own teeth when she couldn’t get to see a national provider.Â Ouch.
As I said above – I’m neither for nor against national healthcare programs.Â I see problems and benefits for providing universal coverage as well as for staying with what we have now.Â I don’t think it’s a simple problem, and anyone who tells you one side or the other is clearly correct can only say that because they haven’t studied the cost and benefits well enough.Â I do believe there is a true push toward nationalized care here in the US that will eventually succeed.Â I do believe there will be benefits for many people as a result.Â I also believe that some people will be left worse than what they have now, and that while some people will pay less overall for this coverage, many will also pay more.Â I think it’s an important discussion to have, but I also think that knowing more than just the facts that support your own side are vital.
And a final note – the story says that Ms. King doesn’t like to go out any more, nor to smile.Â But honestly, looking at her picture I still think she looks great.