Medicaid cuts cost money

Preventive dental care — the visits we make, or know we should make, every six months to our dentist — are no fun. Providing free or inexpensive preventive dental care, as the Affordable Care Act does for many children, is not like other freebies. People do not look forward to going to the dentist, they just know that failure to do so can cause serious health complications.
Alabama cut Medicaid reimbursements to many dentists this year, resulting in fewer dentists who will treat Medicaid patients. The cuts are likely to be even more extreme next year. The Legislature views this as a necessary budget-cutting measure. Faced with the prospect of higher taxes as the alternative, many Alabamians agree.
It is, though, a false economy.
Preventable dental conditions were the primary reason for more than 830,000 emergency room visits in the U.S. in 2009. Emergency room care for dental problems typically runs at least $1,000 per episode, at least 10 times more than routine dental services.
Alabamians are so hung up on taxes they forget that other items also impact their wallets.
When a person who cannot afford preventive dental care ends up in the emergency room, we pay for it just as surely as we pay our taxes. We pay for it through increased insurance premiums and more expensive emergency room visits.
In Alabama, we are not always willing to spend our money to alleviate the suffering of children we don’t know. We are usually, however, on the lookout for ways to save money.
Medicaid-covered preventive dental care — like many preventive-care measures contained in the Affordable Care Act — does both. The taxes we pay for Medicaid are more than offset by the savings we enjoy on premiums and medical care.


1 Comment

Filed under Alabama politics, Health care, Obamacare

One response to “Medicaid cuts cost money

  1. “The taxes we pay for Medicaid are more than offset by the savings we enjoy on premiums and medical care.”
    I’d like to believe this. It’s a basic principle of progressive liberalism, and also of the concept of insurance of all kinds. “The premiums I pay for insurance A are less than what I’d have to pay in case of a loss or casualty or bad health event.”
    In the case of Medicaid, Medicaid dental for kids in particular, is there ever any proof of the statement? Of course, a conservative pol would never believe whatever proof is offered. “Your lying statistics” and such.
    Those disadvantaged kids’ teeth are not my kid’s teeth. Let ’em eat cake, and let their teeth rot.

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