Sunday, February 18, 2007

Dentistry for the disabled - cont.

There is a new addition to the story of Donna's struggle to find a private dentist who will accept a Medicaid patient like herself. Unfortunately I have been so busy lately, that I haven't had the time to post it until now. Donna had to have 3 teeth pulled on Jan. 8. Since we could not find a private dentist who would accept Medicaid, we had to pay the full fee($875.00... and this was done in under one hour), or else they would have sent her home to suffer in pain. The worst of it is, she needs root canals and crowns on two of her front teeth, or else she will wind up losing them.


Blogger jaz said...

I think this is an issue of discrimination. Donna was born with spastic Cerebral Palsy and is on a small fixed income. She can't afford to pay for private dental care. Shouldn't she and others like her have the same right to quality dental care as any other citizen? Please let us know what you think...and/or contact you congressperson about this.

10:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Donna and Jim, that is just plain wrong!! I don't think it's a matter of discrimination. It's a matter of priority of having funding options for people who have low income. I am sorry that you're going through this.

1:35 PM  
Blogger jaz said...

You're's not actually discrimination, but more like 'de facto' discrimination, if you know what I mean. (I hope I used the right term)

6:14 PM  
Blogger jaz said...

Hi anon,
Just wanted to add a comment about the "funding options" you mentioned. In this case it's a matter of a serious UNDERFUNDING of Medicaid. Not just Donna, but most adults with limited incomes cannot possibly afford to pay for a private dentist(her last visit cost us $875.00). If I didn't have a credit card with us they would have sent her home to suffer in pain. They would not accept Medicaid, nor would just about any other private dentist in New Jersey. This is the government health insurance for the poor...and barely a single dentist will accept it because the payment is so low that it doesn't even cover their expenses in most cases.

9:36 PM  
Blogger casey said...

To me, even if it's not discrimination, it's just plain criminal. I'm saddened and outraged, sympathetic and, sadly, helpless.

I'm in the process of trying to get disability. I'm fortunate to be covered under my state's Medicaid program, but because I'm still considered "employable", it's on a limited basis, and I'm denied a lot of care. One of those things I can't get is - you guessed it! - DENTISTRY. My teeth are rotting and, yes, I was sent home from one office, sobbing and in horrific pain, because I couldn't afford the $300 out-of-pocket for an extraction.

The availability and quality of health care in this country is absolutely deplorable. I hope Donna's doing better by now.

1:06 PM  
Blogger jaz said...

Thanks casey, for your comments. It's a deplorable situation indeed when someone in agony is turned away by a doctor or dentist because they can't afford to pay. I remember a situation from a few years ago when Donna was suffering terribly with pain resulting from her hip surgery. I called the office of a pain specialist and was told that they wouldn't accept Medicare or Medicaid. I told them that if it was their dog that was in agony, I'm sure that they would do something to relieve it's suffering! Have we sunk so low in this once great nation of ours that doctors and dentists will turn away those in dire need of care?

7:05 PM  
Blogger jaz said...

I forgot to add this link to one of our photos which will be of interest to anyone concerned with this issue: click here.

7:10 PM  
Anonymous Lula said...

Good post.

11:51 PM  

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