Last week was a frustrating week in chez Mara. After years of messing around with cleanings for the old teeth, I finally got to see a periodontist for a gap in my back teeth. Please note, this has been an issue I’ve brought up for years. And every hygienist & dentist has brought it up to me, as if I have jack shit to do with solving bone loss in my jaw.
The solution, it turns out, is cutting open my gum & stuffing it with, uh, bone, I believe. Like stuffing a bra with tissues only the hope is the tissues will bond with the boobies to build healthy bone in the jaw. Or something like that. This procedure costs $3k. With insurance. Which is a yikes. And a “motherfuck, is this going to give me superpowers, at least? ” Because, yikes, and on both sides of my jaw. Double yikes.
I’ve been struck by how ridiculous the American health insurance & medical system is. We have outrageous costs for service & materials, yet we only talk about insurance costs. Coverage for dental and mental health are often discrete from general coverage. Why has the industry been allowed to do this? Last I checked, your mind operating right helps your body & teeth are a critically important component of eating, which is a reason to live. Bacterial infection in your mouth can have some serious consequences, RIP Andy Hallett. We can implement insurance reform measures but making healthcare affordable will require addressing the scale of costs in the U.S. for medicine, tools, personnel, materials — the whole shebang. I don’t believe Medicare for All addresses that except with the idea that we excise insurance companies from the equation. Stepping over the landmine of legal authority, dealing with displaced employees, etc., I don’t get the impression that’s something people are truly dealing with in their proposals.
No human system is perfect. We’re going to be retooling things for decades, as we should have been for all time past. I guess the problem is we have to cure innate selfishness so we don’t craft health policy that respects profit over patients, yet respects the rights of doctors et al to make money. No one will get everything they want but we should get what we need.
We also need to address medical outcome disparities for POC. I wouldn’t have gotten my consultation without finally getting mad and saying, “Look, this has been going on for years, why are you just talking about cleanings still? Shouldn’t you do more? What are my options?” I wish I was only talking about a few months and one provider. We’re talking over 8 years and 3 dental providers. This could have been tried years ago, when I had the actual income to do it. Instead, lots of “caution”. It doesn’t mean any of the dental offices were unskilled or that they didn’t provide decent service. But when it comes to offering good health action plans, advanced care options – they’ve all fallen short and I’m not alone. This shit kills people. I’m probably more forward about finding solutions than others and I can attest that largely, I’ve been recommended to be patient. Many times, that patience would have severely injured me or killed me, see also, adventures with birth control, Georgia & the blood thinners. How do we get medical providers to accept & overcome implicit biases? Maybe Mr. Anderson can weigh in with his valuable expertise.
We have a lot of work to do on medical care. Just fixing the for profit insurance part of it won’t resolve it. I’d love to see anyone running for office who’d make a stab at these issues. I’d also like to be a billionaire just so I can upend the entire GOP as my personal petty vendetta. So I’ll settle for landing some more VO gigs so I can make an action plan on this teeth bullshit. Have at folks. And really, what kind of policy do you think should be discussed for any issue at all versus how it’s presented during elections? I got a million of them, but I’ll save it for another long post.