Wednesday Dedicated to Financial Issues
Further transitioning into the new format explained in Tuesday’s post, I’ve decided to dedicate Wednesday to writing about financial and insurance issues affecting both dental professionals and consumers. In the economy that we’re all operating in today, I expect to have some interesting information to share with you in this area. Even if you loathe the idea of a financial focus, I’ll do all I can to make it as relevant and interesting as possible.
Free Dental Clinics Struggling to Meet the Need
The inaugural “Financial Post of the Week” focuses on a piece run recently by CBSNEWS.com, entitled, “Lining Up For Free Dental Care“. As part of an ongoing series, appropriately called “The Other America,” this piece highlights the efforts of volunteer dental professionals to meet the bigger-than-ever demand for free dental care services
Why is the demand so high
Well, this one’s easy. Unless you’ve been living under a rock(I’m assuming you haven’t been), you probably understand that the economy is struggling in virtually all areas. Unfortunately, the Health Care is one of the hardest hit.
What is the demand?
Once simply inflated, healthcare prices are now borderline unaffordable for many Americans. Sadly, dental care is often the first healthcare services to go when money is tight. In fact, more than 1 in 3 Americans are living without some form of dental insurance. That’s more than 100 million Americans!
Volunteers from across the country are organizing free dental care clinics for patients in need. Bruce Bergstrom, head of America’s Dentists Care Foundation, is one such volunteer who organizes free dental clinics around the country. At a recent stop in Loveland, Colorado, Bergstrom recalled seeing patients who had lined up at 1am to ensure their chance to receive free dental care services. “At 5 a.m. the line wraps around a block,” says Bergstrom. “Isn’t that tragic?” Bergstrom said. “It really is. To me it’s tragic.” However, for just one day, Loveland, Colorado was blessed with the help of eight hundred volunteers, including 113 dentists, who donated both their time and skill.
It’s certainly a shame that so many Americans(not to mention in other countries) are unable to afford something so basic as dental care. Unfortunately, while I believe that organizers of these clinics are to be commended for their efforts, I believe this approach is more of a band-aid than a solid, long-term solution. Policymakers will have to reform the Health Care Industry so that healthcare is affordable and accessible to everyone. I honestly don’t know what shape such a bill would take, but it’s the only way to ensure that everyone receives the care they need at a price they can afford.
How would you reform the Health Care System to make dental care affordable and accessible?