Wednesday, February 28, 2007

12 Year Old Dies From Lack of Dental Care

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.

Deamonte's death and the ultimate cost of his care, which could total more than $250,000, underscore an often-overlooked concern in the debate over universal health coverage: dental care.

$250,000 which the taxpayers will end up owning, would have funded 2,500 kids in the area to get a $100 exam. Instead, we have a dead child, a grieving mother, and another example of how extreme poverty makes for poor choices.

We are spending $11 million an hour in Iraq. Yet, we can't offer our children comprehensive dental coverage. We are truly a nation in decline.