Dental Coverage: You Have Options

While  reading “The Painful Truth About Teeth” by Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan, I found myself comparing my dental experiences with other people’s experiences described in the article. I also found myself becoming irritated while I read the article and how quickly some people place their lack of attentive dental care on the president.

I come from a lower middle class family in Central New York (Syracuse, NY area) where many people in my town do not have dental insurance, including my father. My father is a single parent, with two kids, works two jobs, and makes about two thirds of Matello’s total family income in “The Painful Truth About Teeth”. However, unlike Matello my father goes to the dentist once a year, yearly, and has paid out of pocket for numerous dental procedures for the entire family. For example, my father paid about $12,000 out of pocket for me to get braces, and have my wisdom teeth extracted. Both procedures were not covered by the insurance he has for my brother and I, because both of them are considered cosmetic work. I understand that many people come from different backgrounds however, I strongly believe that if something has a great deal of value to you, you will find a way to pay for it, such as what my dad did by paying for my dental work.

Throughout the article I became upset that some people find it necessary to blame the president for not having enough income to afford important dental procedures. If people truly wanted to create change in order to afford dental care, I don’t think that they should aim towards a national scale, but at a local scale. President Trump’s “assurance that he would build a “beautiful” health-care system to serve every American” is not going to be immediate, and may never happen (Jordan and, Sullivan 3). Targeting a political leader who has little political background and posts tweets about LaVar Ball on social media would not be my first outlet to obtaining affordable health care. Instead of targeting the president, targeting insurance companies might be a better approach to closing the gap between what dental insurance covers, and who it covers.

In relation to course content, there are multiple dental references throughout Zone One by Colson Whitehead. Early in the novel Mark Spitz notices the Marge’s black and broken teeth (Whitehead 70-71). While later in the novel Mark Spitz describes teeth marks left in household items by uninfected humans trying to escape the plague (Whitehead 164). Zone One was published in October of 2011, a little over a year after the Affordable Care Act was passed, leading me to believe that his dental references are directed towards the Affordable Care Act. In “The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Dental Health” by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, under the Affordable Care Act many adults do not have access to dental coverage. While Matello and many other Americans go without dental coverage, and “keep hoping Trump will devise ‘a plan so we can all feel the benefits of a better economy’” I believe that many Americans need to face the realization that no government instituted programs are going to be perfect for everyone (Jordan and, Sullivan 4). I am a strong believer that sometimes you have to prioritize your needs over your wants and make sacrifices in order to preserve your health.

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