Evolving Peace

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Tooth Ache and Health Care Pain

Over a year ago I took a chance and quit my job that I had for nine years, nine months and eight days. There were many of my friends and family that told me I was crazy for leaving a job that had such good benefits, but for me that job was not worth my time anymore and I just had a irking in my soul to move on. I was fortunate of my circumstances to be able to leave my occupation and branch off into new directions and for that I am being rewarded with today. Although, I have been fortunate to be able to do that, I feel for all the others stuck in a job that they just do not like for the sake of health benefits.

While it has been risky not having health insurance I can say it sure has definitely been worth it, even with some of the additional costs without insurance. Back in October, I partially tore my rotator cuff in my right shoulder and due to not having insurance I did not see a doctor. In January, I had a filling dislodge itself from one of my teeth and likewise I did not go the dentist. So, once was able to come up with some money, I have now have been able to get treatment.

For my shoulder, I had to pay fifty dollars for the doctor’s visit. Yes, he did give me a break since I did not have insurance. Then subsequently, I had to go to a physical therapist twice a week for the last few months. That cost me over nine hundred dollars. Then as the pain in my shoulder began to reside, the tooth that lost its filling months ago became infected.

Unfortunately, the tooth was too late for repair and the determination was for it to be pulled. At first I was prescribed Vicadin and Penicillin to ease the pain and help hold back the infection while I waited my appointment with the Oral Surgeon. Despite taking the pain medication, the pain was too intense and my appointment was moved up a few weeks and it was pulled last week. The initial procedures cost me over two hundred dollars and eventually the surgery to add a tooth implant will cost at least fifteen hundred dollars. What scares me is that I have a whole mouth of teeth and having a history of poor teeth frightens me more.

Upon waiting for that tooth to heal, I had to have a crown re-cemented, that cost $79. Today, I went for an annual check and that cost me another seventy nine dollars. Oh, yeah, I have to go back three more times, once for a teeth cleaning, and the other two times for repair of fillings on two teeth.

Once I am settled up for my stint as a professional patient I will have accrued over a thousand dollars in bills for my shoulder and two thousand dollars for dental work. What is surprising about that is that I am a relatively healthy person in my mid thirties, so imagine what the cost would be with someone with a chronic condition or is in a debilitating condition. In my early twenties I was severely burned on seventeen percent of my body and was required to spend two weeks in a hospital. The seriousness of the situation required further outpatient care for months. In that particular case my subsequent bills were in excess of a half million dollars, who can truly afford that?

What perplexes me in today’s society is that we have a class of politicians who lecture us about the needs of cutting taxes. On paper, cutting taxes can be construed to many as beneficial; however in reality what all these politicians have done is cut taxes for the extremely wealthy and left the rest with higher burdens. Here in Vermont, Governor Douglass habitually propagates his agenda to combat “affordability” while on the hand leaving a deaf ear to real cost burdens such as health care.

The roots of our problems are not in the tax dollars but to the cost of our health care. Our towns, schools and our employers are faced with rising health care premiums and that is the real reason for rising costs in our lives. The reason too many of these politicians fail to do anything towards its solution is because they believe too much in the “free (failed)-market” of business. Multi national insurance and pharmaceutical companies have effectively killed any legislation that fosters an economically sound and affordable health care system. In other words the corporations have bought out our government.

The importance of the issue is we as society have to take back our government and provide real solutions to our problems. Health Care is a right and should never be a privilege. We in the United States live in the wealthiest country of the world and each and every one of us should be given an opportunity to succeed. I have been fortunate to be able to quit a job and branch out in a new direction; however I feel for those who just can not take that risk.

Robb Kidd

“The doctor glanced up at the statue of the Republic, then said he did not know if he was using the language of reason but he knew he was using the language of the facts as everybody could see them - which wasn't necessarily the same thing” Albert Camus, author of The Stranger


At August 06, 2009 10:16 PM, Anonymous San Luis Obispo Dental Office said...

The moral of the story is take care of your oral health as well as normal health from the very beginning. Don't neglect the pain otherwise it will be difficult to face later and also be costly. So be careful.


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