Friday, March 02, 2007

12 year old boy died of a toothache

How can this happen in what is supposed to be the richest nation in the world? Why -- in 2007 -- are we still held hostage to an inadequate health care system? Where were all the "compassionate conservatives" when Deamonte Driver needed them? And now that the Dems control Congress, and the state legislature in Maryland (where Deamonte lived), what are they going to do to prevent this from happening to others?

The Washington Post article, For Want of a Dentist, says it all much better than I could:

Twelve-year-old Deamonte Driver died of a toothache Sunday.

A routine, $80 tooth extraction might have saved him.

If his mother had been insured.

If his family had not lost its Medicaid.

If Medicaid dentists weren't so hard to find.

If his mother hadn't been focused on getting a dentist for his brother, who had six rotted teeth.

By the time Deamonte's own aching tooth got any attention, the bacteria from the abscess had spread to his brain, doctors said. After two operations and more than six weeks of hospital care, the Prince George's County boy died.

Universal heath care isn't just humane . . . for those among us who lack a heart think of it this way, it's cost effective!

An $80 tooth extraction might have saved Deamonte's life -- instead, there are now hospital and doctors bills totalling more than $250,000. How many more Deamonte's are out there?

Whether the discussion is about universal health care, or education, or after school programs, or affordable child care the ultimate question seems always to be -- "do we pay now, or pay MUCH MORE later?"


Tengrain said...

That is outrageous. I'm talking to my MOC.


BAC said...

I live in Prince Georges County and was stunned to hear about this. Had I known, I would have taken the boys to a dentist!

No-bid contractors can lose billions of tax dollars, but we can't have universal health care?


spice18536 said...

i think that this is so horrible so i am doing a school project on why America should have universal health care

He's a Penguin? said...

I'm afraid this may happen to me. I had 5 severely decayed teeth (all 4 wisdom teeth and the #15 molar) and a few weeks ago, my family scraped together enough money to get the #15 pulled, because it was the worst pain. Little did I realize that the top left wisdom tooth was even worse. Less than 2 weeks later, it began hurting so bad that it will cause seizures and I'll nearly pass out from the pain. I constantly have to take pain pills and gargle saltwater just to make it through the day. I'm building up a huge tolerance for the pain pills; so much so that it's too expensive to buy any more. I can almost never sleep and it only stops hurting when I chew bread or stuff cottonballs soaked with saltwater onto the tooth.

We've tried applying for Medicaid and other dental assistance, but according to the offices down here, my father makes too much money. What they don't seem to understand is that we got our house when he had a decent job and before his insurance kicked in, the job got sent to China, leaving us with a mortgage that we couldn't afford and no dental insurance. So now I'm in gut-wrenching pain and could possibly die of it for the same reason as this kid: I'm too poor to pay to get a tooth pulled but not poor enough for the government to pay for it to get pulled.

best dental clinic Singapore said...

I can't believe that simple toothache could lead to death. This should stand as a warning to all of us. How many poor kids should die before our dental industry would take action. The government especially on the dental action should pursue their child dental care.