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Why not cover teeth?

By johnboy - 2 May 2012 65

The Greens are asking some sensible questions as to why teeth are excluded from publicly funded healthcare, and trying to get support for a fix up here in Canberra.

“It doesn’t make much sense that teeth should be excluded from the rest of the human body when it comes to healthcare,” Greens Health spokesperson, Amanda Bresnan MLA, said.

“Low income earners are the hardest hit by the high cost of dental care, and this leads to major health problems.

“44% of respondents to the last ACT General Health Survey reported to have delayed using a dentist because they couldn’t afford it. This results in an unnecessary burden on the health system. 7-10% of GP visits are due untreated dental problems.

“If we do not start improving our preventative health measures, like regular dental check-ups, the cost of our health system will continue to skyrocket.

“Today the ACT is being presented with an opportunity to be the first jurisdiction to vote in favour of the Commonwealth Government funding Denticare.

“I’m calling on the other parties to listen to the community and support Denticare. The Assembly should make it clear to the Federal Government that this is a health priority for the people of Canberra,” Ms Bresnan said.

(Cue a bunch of vindictive arseholes huffing and puffing that they worked hard for their dental care and anyone who didn’t work as hard, or get as lucky, should live in pain and die young. Oh and let’s not forget the moral pygmies shouting “I’m allright jack, screw the rest of you”.)

What’s Your opinion?


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65 Responses to
Why not cover teeth?
16
Deref 1:38 pm
02 May 12
#

Excellent proposal, long overdue.

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17
Jim Jones 1:54 pm
02 May 12
#

Alderney said :

Jim Jones said :

john87_no1 said :

Alderney said :

Why do I have to pay for someone’s inability to brush their teeth and their desitre to eat s*** food until their teeth rot?

I know this argument could be extented to wider health issues such as, why should I pay for your inability to exercise and desire to eat s*** food until you’re the size of a house with all the health complications that go along with that, but teeth are bloody expensive and supply and demand will say more people making appointments at the dentist means longer waiting times and higher prices.

Unless that is only certain dentists will provide services to the great unwashed (sorry, lower North Shore of Sydney and Eastern Suburbs private school boy superiority complex coming out there).

The same reasons my tax dollars get spent on lower North Shore of Sydney and Eastern Suburbs private schools – personal wealth *shouldn’t* dictate distribution and accessibility of Govt funding/services.

+1

And all that aside. Even people who look after their teeth carefully need to visit the dentist sometimes.

Now, what was the last paragraph in the OP again?

But I don’t use your teeth, and the services on the Lower North Shore of Sydney, or anywhere for that matter, are available for the use of all.

Moreover, parents who send their children to private schools pay taxes for the upkeep of the public eduction system too.

One could argue until the cows come home about for what we contribute and what one uses.

My taxes contribute to lots of things I do not use and I dare say yours do too, so don’t play the cherry-picker with me.

My point is, that personal responsability has to come into it at some stage. If you want me to pay for your teeth, you can hold up your end of the bargin by doing your best to keep them healthy.

A further point is those on the lower end of the socio-economic ladder are in effect net taxation consumers whereas most on the upper end are net taxation contributors.

Think about that next time you stick your hand out of something.

Oh god please not another ‘my tax dollars’ rah rah rah ‘personal responsibility’ thing.

Just kill me before all the stupid rots my brain.

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18
veronicamars 1:54 pm
02 May 12
#

Alderney said :

“Why do I have to pay for someone’s inability to brush their teeth and their desitre to eat s*** food until their teeth rot?”

Because there is a clear link between dental health and general health. We have Medicare for our general health care and dental care IS part of health care. Dental care should be covered too. These two articles discuss the link between dental health and medical conditions.

http://www.everydayhealth.com/dental-health/oral-conditions/oral-health-and-other-diseases.aspx

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dental/DE00001/NSECTIONGROUP=2

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19
Thumper 2:04 pm
02 May 12
#

Gungahlin Al said :

quote comment=”403387″]This has always puzzled me.

Dental health is just as important as, well, any other health.

Denticare sounds eminently reasonable and sensible.

However, we have the ‘must be in surplus’ (TM) budget coming up so it won’t happen.

Indeed Thumper. And as this article on The Conversation today shows, poor dental care imposes substantial downstream costs on our community (read: tax base).

People will say we can’t afford it when the government is trying to return the budget to surplus. But the reality is that it would be an investment rather than an expense. Implementing this via this year’s budget would have negligible cost impact this year and for their beloved surplus.

I’ve helped on Greens’ stalls collecting petition signatures supporting this initiative and can say that almost everyone I spoke with signed up. It has almost universal support.

I’m at a loss to see how anyone could be against this proposal.

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20
chewy14 2:25 pm
02 May 12
#

As long as its well designed and only covers necessary dental care then why not?

So many other health problems come from dental problems that this will surely save large amounts of money elsewhere.

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21
poetix 2:28 pm
02 May 12
#

Really bad teeth are probably one of the major indicators that a person is from a lower socio-economic group (along with smoking, perhaps?). It is unfair that people can’t afford to have dental care and it must be socially limiting as well as having all sorts of health effects. I wonder where they’d draw the line on funding under this proposal? I can’t help but notice that at my daughter’s school, in some year groups, most of the girls seem to be wearing braces, for (eventual) cosmetic reasons, I assume. The other day I saw a boy with teeth that *really* stuck out and it was difficult not to look at them; will some cosmetic dentistry/orthodontic services be covered?

There are some ACT Government dental services already for children and pensioners, and Medicare does cover certain chronic problems to a limited degree:
http://health.act.gov.au/health-services/a-z-health-services/dental-health

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22
HenryBG 2:37 pm
02 May 12
#

Thumper said :

I’ve helped on Greens’ stalls collecting petition signatures supporting this initiative and can say that almost everyone I spoke with signed up. It has almost universal support.

I’m at a loss to see how anyone could be against this proposal.

A bit like the pokies: the public is overwhelmingly against them, but the pollies for some reason refuse to do anything about them.

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23
Jim Jones 2:37 pm
02 May 12
#

veronicamars said :

Because there is a clear link between dental health and general health.

Ramsess II, the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire, who lived well into his 90s, and was said to have sired almost 100 children, died of poor dental hygiene.

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24
Jim Jones 2:43 pm
02 May 12
#

HenryBG said :

Thumper said :

I’ve helped on Greens’ stalls collecting petition signatures supporting this initiative and can say that almost everyone I spoke with signed up. It has almost universal support.

I’m at a loss to see how anyone could be against this proposal.

A bit like the pokies: the public is overwhelmingly against them, but the pollies for some reason refuse to do anything about them.

If the public is overwhelmingly against them, why won’t it just stop putting money into the evil things?

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25
Little_Green_Bag 3:28 pm
02 May 12
#

sarahsarah said :

Dental care IS expensive – having just recently had braces I can certainly testify to this! Surely basic check-ups every year should be covered at least?

Having the Greens suggest something that isn’t monumentally stupid is a shock to the senses.

The Hawke and Keating governments in the 1980s and early ’90s had the Commonwealth Dental Scheme which provided free dental care for low income earners and welfare recipients. I had major work done over several visits during 1989.

When John Howard came to office he abolished it saying it was a state responsibility. A few cash-strapped state governments brought in Claytons schemes with expensive co-payments and long waiting lists. Some didn’t even bother.

The last time I went to the Phillip Health Centre for an emergency (in 2006) I was told that I would have to make a booking four weeks ahead (yes, for an emergency) and that I would have to pay. I didn’t make a booking and went home in pain. I phoned a private dentist and was told that I would have to pay over $400.00, money I could not afford. I haven’t been to the dentist since.

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26
matt31221 3:44 pm
02 May 12
#

Alderney said :

Why do I have to pay for someone’s inability to brush their teeth and their desitre to eat s*** food until their teeth rot?

I know this argument could be extented to wider health issues such as, why should I pay for your inability to exercise and desire to eat s*** food until you’re the size of a house with all the health complications that go along with that, but teeth are bloody expensive and supply and demand will say more people making appointments at the dentist means longer waiting times and higher prices.

Unless that is only certain dentists will provide services to the great unwashed (sorry, lower North Shore of Sydney and Eastern Suburbs private school boy superiority complex coming out there).

JB did warn the reader about d***heads like you. Just because you brush your teeth and eat healthy food doesn’t mean you’re not going to get dental problems and vice versa. Genetics is a factor in it as well.

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27
Jim Jones 4:06 pm
02 May 12
#

matt31221 said :

Alderney said :

Why do I have to pay for someone’s inability to brush their teeth and their desitre to eat s*** food until their teeth rot?

I know this argument could be extented to wider health issues such as, why should I pay for your inability to exercise and desire to eat s*** food until you’re the size of a house with all the health complications that go along with that, but teeth are bloody expensive and supply and demand will say more people making appointments at the dentist means longer waiting times and higher prices.

Unless that is only certain dentists will provide services to the great unwashed (sorry, lower North Shore of Sydney and Eastern Suburbs private school boy superiority complex coming out there).

JB did warn the reader about d***heads like you. Just because you brush your teeth and eat healthy food doesn’t mean you’re not going to get dental problems and vice versa. Genetics is a factor in it as well.

Yeah, but is he a moral pygmy or a vindictive asshole? That’s what I wanna know.

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28
astrojax 4:08 pm
02 May 12
#

ooh, provocative. ok, i’ll bite…

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29
Alderney 4:08 pm
02 May 12
#

matt31221 said :

Alderney said :

Why do I have to pay for someone’s inability to brush their teeth and their desitre to eat s*** food until their teeth rot?

I know this argument could be extented to wider health issues such as, why should I pay for your inability to exercise and desire to eat s*** food until you’re the size of a house with all the health complications that go along with that, but teeth are bloody expensive and supply and demand will say more people making appointments at the dentist means longer waiting times and higher prices.

Unless that is only certain dentists will provide services to the great unwashed (sorry, lower North Shore of Sydney and Eastern Suburbs private school boy superiority complex coming out there).

JB did warn the reader about d***heads like you. Just because you brush your teeth and eat healthy food doesn’t mean you’re not going to get dental problems and vice versa. Genetics is a factor in it as well.

Fortunately for me then I lucked in. I went through an 18 year career as an A-Grade Rugby League player and 5 years in the kickboxing ring without losing a tooth. This is because I spent hundred’s of dollars on good mouthguards, not the crap you buy at a chemist.

I also don’t have a filling at 43 years of age. I have however had gum problems that I paid to remedy and pay attention regarding my dental health.

My wife also, at nearly 40, does not have any fillings.

You however obviously lucked out and have some sense of entitlement that others owe you for your poor dietery decisions and/or breading.

I can also resort to debate without lowering myself to terms of abuse, but if you’d like me to kick your teeth in so you can get your free treatment it should only take me a minute, or two if you know how to fight.

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30
chewy14 4:14 pm
02 May 12
#

Alderney said :

poor dietery decisions and/or breading.

My poor dietary decisions usually involve breading…and then deep frying.

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