Why not cover teeth?

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”.)


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65 Responses to Why not cover teeth?
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Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 10:30 pm 06 May 12

A breakthrough today in the Greens’ campaign to get dental care properly funded and included in Medicare. Greens Senator Dr Richard di Natale announced successful negotiations with the Government to get half a billion dollars worth of dental care improvements included in Tuesday’s Budget:

* $345.9 million for a public dental waiting list blitz, to help the 400,000 Australians on public waiting lists get treatment faster;
the Chronic Dental Disease Scheme will be saved from Budget cuts, until we can develop a comprehensive national scheme with the Government to replace it;
* $158.6 million to train more dentists and oral health therapists, and help dental professionals set up practices in rural areas; and,
* $10.5 million to promote good oral health.

But di Natale has said this is just the start:

“We’re going to take the next steps on that road straightaway. Starting this week, and continuing in coming months, we will negotiate with the Government to design a scheme to help Australians access the dental care they need. We’re all going to need to keep the campaign going to get the best outcome from those negotiations: bringing dental care into Medicare at last. Later this year, we will bring the results of our negotiations to the Parliament and establish a national dental scheme. I look forward to voting for that reform, which will be a direct result of your passionate support.”

And to everyone who put their names to the Greens petition – thank you – you helped bring this outcome to fruition.

So why is this important for the ACT? Because this investment in preventative medicine will – in time – reduce the kinds of downstream health problems that result from poor dental health. And that will in turn reduce demand on our ACT health care system and tax base.

HenryBG HenryBG 12:42 am 04 May 12

Darkfalz said :

Everyone with a job should have private health care.
.

Oh, look who hasn’t been paying attention.

HELLO?!?!
One more time: The american system of private healthcare costs twice as much and has worse outcomes. In other words it’s a big, horrendous scam. And you’ve fallen for it – you, Gary Humphries, Tony Abbot, and the rest of that shower of idiots pleased to call themselves a “Liberal” Party who are absolutely clueless when it comes to analysing real-world facts before developing policy.

Darkfalz Darkfalz 11:24 pm 03 May 12

2604 said :

An annual checkup and clean costs about $200 at my local (rip-off) dentist. It beggars belief that 44% of Canberrans can’t set aside less than four bucks a week to look after their own teeth.

Also, the government socialising or subsidising anything is a sure-fire way to increase how much it costs. Anyone for a $700 set-top box?

I hadn’t been to the dentist in 10 years, went and got a clean and two small fillings (took two sessions). It cost me about $600 from memory. I got private health insurance shortly after and haven’t been since… I should probably use it. But I have very good teeth.

Darkfalz Darkfalz 11:18 pm 03 May 12

Everyone with a job should have private health care.

I remember getting free dental checks when I was a kid, at a clinic at primary school. I’m not sure who paid for it but it certainly wasn’t my mum (who was on child support payments).

Tetranitrate Tetranitrate 10:31 pm 03 May 12

2604 said :

HenryBG said :

The scary thing is that misinformed idiots like 2604 actually have the vote, and they use it to keep the Liberal Party in the running.

“Misinformed idiots” think that the overall cost of a health care system viewed in isolation of health outcomes and patient demographics is a reliable indicator of that health care system’s quality.

They also think that something which works in the UK will work everywhere, and that somehow socialised medicine can magically avoid all of the waste and unnecessary endemic in other government-provided services.

Except the USA has more favorable demographics and has worse outcomes.
ie: median age in the US is about 37.5, UK is 40.5
eg: Infant mortality of 5.98/1000 for the USA versus 4.56/1000 for the UK. (most recent CIA world factbook)
Yet the NHS costs less.

Reality contradicts your ideology.

The reason the UK in particular is being bought up is because the NHS is basically the gold standard of single payer healthcare – you can’t get much more ‘statist’ than the system in the UK.
(as compared to say, the Netherlands)

2604 2604 9:41 pm 03 May 12

HenryBG said :

The scary thing is that misinformed idiots like 2604 actually have the vote, and they use it to keep the Liberal Party in the running.

“Misinformed idiots” think that the overall cost of a health care system viewed in isolation of health outcomes and patient demographics is a reliable indicator of that health care system’s quality.

They also think that something which works in the UK will work everywhere, and that somehow socialised medicine can magically avoid all of the waste and unnecessary endemic in other government-provided services.

HenryBG HenryBG 5:06 pm 03 May 12

pink little birdie said :

Health systems like the UK also increase the purchasing power of the Health budget cos of the whole buying in bulk concept and adds to the negotating power of the purchasers.

Yeah, that and the health budgets aren’t being siphoned off to pay for shareholder profits and advertising.

I’ve seen an attempted privatisation to yank health firms at work, and it was a massive, costly disaster with very poor health outcomes.

To those whose ideology encourages them to persist in scepticism like Chewy14’s, please keep your mind open a bit longer and try reading this:

http://scienceblogs.com/denialism/2012/03/what_is_the_cause_of_excess_he.php

He summarises:

To summarize, the US spends more on healthcare compared to other industrialized nations because

– We deliver it inefficiently
– Without universality problems present when critical and in the ER
– Fee-for-service incentives in the form of excessive reimbursement for procedures and hospitals ramp up costs by encouraging doctors to overuse expensive tests and perform more procedures
– Direct-to-consumer advertising (we are one of two countries that allow advertisement of prescription drugs) and medicare part D encourage overuse of pharmaceuticals while tying providers hands when it comes to bargaining for lower drug prices
– Defensive medicine
– Poor management of end-of-life decisions and excessive and futile overuse of resources at the end of life
Absence of a universal electronic medical record (or record format) to prevent redundancy and waste.

pink little birdie pink little birdie 11:41 am 03 May 12

Health systems like the UK also increase the purchasing power of the Health budget cos of the whole buying in bulk concept and adds to the negotating power of the purchasers.

Tetranitrate Tetranitrate 10:43 am 03 May 12

chewy14 said :

Actually looking at that data presented by Tetranite I don’t think you can come to any conclusion about the different health systems.
The USA is obviously disfunctional but when you look at the % cost of GDP spent on healtcare compared to the % cost that comes from public expenditure, there is no link between them for the countries presented. It’s too simplistic a measure.
You would obviously also need to look at health outcomes to see the effectiveness of each country’s program.

Oh absolutely – the mere % of GDP spent on healthcare or $ per capita spent doesn’t tell you much at all and every country is different.

It’s just that the USA sticks out like a broken thumb, and countries like the UK with comprehensive single payer systems which according to people like 2604 should have massive cost blowouts because of their ‘inherent inefficiency’ do just fine.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back VYBerlinaV8_is_back 10:35 am 03 May 12

I though Reductio Ad Absurdum was something they taught at Hogwarts.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 9:45 am 03 May 12

Diggety said :

Jim Jones said :

Diggety said :

No, people just need to wean themselves off their mum’s tit and take some personal responsibility.

So we should axe medicare and let everyone fend for themselves then?

After all, poor people are only poor because of lack of personal responsibility. And rich people are only rich because of their awesome personal responsibility skills!!!

Reductio ad absurdum

Lol. Given that the original ‘argument’ consisted of ‘herp derp personal responsibility’ I don’t think that swinging around logical fallacies is gonna help much.

chewy14 chewy14 9:21 am 03 May 12

Actually looking at that data presented by Tetranite I don’t think you can come to any conclusion about the different health systems.
The USA is obviously disfunctional but when you look at the % cost of GDP spent on healtcare compared to the % cost that comes from public expenditure, there is no link between them for the countries presented. It’s too simplistic a measure.
You would obviously also need to look at health outcomes to see the effectiveness of each country’s program.

Thumper Thumper 8:35 am 03 May 12

toriness said :

“moral pygmies” – love it. going to try and use that in a few sentences tomorrow!

I think Keating first used that term.

Or at least, something very similiar.

HenryBG HenryBG 6:31 am 03 May 12

2604 said :

HenryBG said :

The appalling american system of healthcare is ample demonstration that healthcare is unsuited to a market-based system and the British NHS demonstrates that socialised medicine is the cheapest (at half the cost of the american system) and most effective way of delivering healthcare, even if you don’t care about the vastly superior social justice impact of the latter.

Anyone who thinks that universal, socialised medicine will cost less overall than user-pays medicine purchased in a competitive market whilst resulting in the same quality of outcome needs to have his head examined. At own expense, I hasten to add.

er, but here in the real world, universal socialised medicine is half the price of the american approach.

You *do* realise that, don’t you?

The scary thing is that misinformed idiots like 2604 actually have the vote, and they use it to keep the Liberal Party in the running.

HenryBG HenryBG 6:29 am 03 May 12

2604 said :

Also, the government socialising or subsidising anything is a sure-fire way to increase how much it costs.

Yeah, except for healthcare – as the american system *proves* with its doubled costs as compared with the socialised British system.

Tetranitrate Tetranitrate 1:24 am 03 May 12

2604 said :

HenryBG said :

Anyone who thinks that universal, socialised medicine will cost less overall than user-pays medicine purchased in a competitive market whilst resulting in the same quality of outcome needs to have his head examined. At own expense, I hasten to add.

You’re the one who needs your head examined.
See my prior post, of particular note:
http://www.oecd.org/document/60/0,3746,en_2649_33929_2085200_1_1_1_1,00.html
As a percentage of GDP, total health spending in the US in 2009 was 17.4%
The ‘socialist’ UK with a comprehensive single payer system? 9.8%
When it’s put in PPP $ it’s actually more than double the OECD average.

johnboy johnboy 11:00 pm 02 May 12

2604 said :

Anyone who thinks that universal, socialised medicine will cost less overall than user-pays medicine purchased in a competitive market whilst resulting in the same quality of outcome needs to have his head examined. At own expense, I hasten to add.

Erm, have you seen what the US taxpayer pays for their rooted system????

2604 2604 10:50 pm 02 May 12

HenryBG said :

The appalling american system of healthcare is ample demonstration that healthcare is unsuited to a market-based system and the British NHS demonstrates that socialised medicine is the cheapest (at half the cost of the american system) and most effective way of delivering healthcare, even if you don’t care about the vastly superior social justice impact of the latter.

Anyone who thinks that universal, socialised medicine will cost less overall than user-pays medicine purchased in a competitive market whilst resulting in the same quality of outcome needs to have his head examined. At own expense, I hasten to add.

2604 2604 10:12 pm 02 May 12

An annual checkup and clean costs about $200 at my local (rip-off) dentist. It beggars belief that 44% of Canberrans can’t set aside less than four bucks a week to look after their own teeth.

Also, the government socialising or subsidising anything is a sure-fire way to increase how much it costs. Anyone for a $700 set-top box?

nazasaurus nazasaurus 8:20 pm 02 May 12

They need to up the number of dentistry placements at uni and/or increase numbers of overseas trained dentists to allow more competition and lowering of fees. I am sorry but how can 10-15 minutes of a dentist’s time for a non-complex check up and clean cost me $150. There could also be bulk billed dental hygienists who can do cleaning and instruct people on proper dental/gum hygiene avoiding unecessary visits to the dentist. Alternatively, why doesnt the government subsidise or lower hecs or provide scholarships to students who in return agree to work as a salaried dentist in a public health sector for x number of years. No dentist would be otherwise compelled to work in the public system when they have a licence to print money in private.

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