Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Dental Luxury

I'm sure you've heard the story of the 12 year old boy who died from an infection to his brain caused by a tooth abscess.
His mom has 3 jobs, all minimum wage without benefits.
Their medicaid has been reduced.
Very few dentists take medicaid patients anyway.
His Mom was trying to deal with his 10 year old brother who was struggling with 3 rotting teeth.
Without access to basic healthcare, this child is now a casualty of the system.
Can you imagine the pain of a Mom who is working her hardest, and still unable to meet the basic physical needs in her kids.

Today I thank God that I can take my children to the doctor and dentist when necessary. I even get to take them for preventative health care. I have a voice in the system. I have medical practitioners in my circle who will see me and treat me with dignity and respect. I am able to provide medicine, vitamins, chiropractic care when needed.

Today my heart aches for those who can't do the same. Is there a question that the system needs work? I have copied part of a post from Larry James about basic housing needs. Dental and Medical care is hardly on the radar screen when you are struggling to find a place to live.

"Fourteen million American households now spend more than 50% of their income to cover housing costs or they live in substandard housing conditions. For some households it is both.In 70% of the nation’s 200 largest metropolitan areas, middle class workers (nurses, teachers, janitors, retail clerks, firemen and police officers) don’t earn enough to qualify to purchase even a modest home.In Dallas, Texas, one of the nation’s wealthiest areas, only 42% of the households occupy homes that they own.Over the past ten years, the U. S. lost 2,000,000 affordable rental homes because of soaring markets, the decline of federal housing subsidies, owner divestment and age and deterioration.Hard fact of life in the USA: For every new affordable unit built, two are razed, abandoned or redeveloped as high cost rentals.The affordable housing crisis connects to a host of other urban challenges. Housing and community environment are crucial factors for success and vigor when it comes to public education, economic development, public safety, employment, transportation and health/wellness."

1 comment:

Amy said...

We are so blessed to be able to take care of the necessities. And what I consider necessities are luxuries for most of the world. It is humbling.

And...my goodness the system needs work! Great post, Arlene