Another view of the elephant
Just finished reading your article (Periodontal Therapy column, January 2006 issue), and feel that it is important to provide another view of the elephant. Others are receiving health care other than the rich and insured. They are called the working middle class and it is not that hard to get into that group. One does that with hard work and careful use of financial resources.
Your view that the only way those who need your services can get them is via state and federal government assistance is not very open-minded. I recommend to you a book, “Uncle Sam’s Plantation,” by Star Parker. She presents other solutions by someone who has been there. I am personally offended that your opinion of Americans’ empathy and charity for the poor is so low as to presume we must be forced by the government to help the poor or it won’t get done. Last year I personally donated almost 11 percent of my income to charity. How about you?
The government welfare state is a disaster, in my opinion, with completely unacceptable overhead. If you are going to write in a professional journal, it is your obligation not to make unsubstantiated claims.
With tobacco expenditures exceeding $70 billion per year, gambling and alcohol consumption exceeding $300 billion per year each, and even dog food at $40 billion per year, you will see why many of the underserved can barely settle their monthly bills. Take a good look at which socioeconomic class buys those lottery tickets, mostly those who can least afford it. Often, these vices are a “necessity,” and it is no wonder they cannot afford the luxury of dental care, but life is all about choices here in this great country of ours.
The deserving poor should absolutely have help, and it should be done by private citizenry who benefit and grow by charitable giving, not through forced taxation at the hands of goverment and enforced by the IRS.
One government intrusion you did not mention though is a cap on hygenists’ salaries, which would help reduce health-care costs. Here in California we have new hygiene graduates getting $53 per hour. Kindly show me which group of employees makes that as a starting salary with equivalent education.
The first litmus test to help the poor should be a drug test. That issue needs to be handled before proceeding to meet other health care needs. I have worked many a year in five county jails and many of the underserved have illegal and legal drug (alcohol) problems. There are many who will whack at the leaves of society’s problems but few that attack the roots.
In conclusion, you did not take your own advice and view the elephant from all sides in your article. You only gave your colleagues one view, and we deserve better.
Elden M. Rice, DDS
Santa Rosa, California
Liked cover model
I have never written to any of my professional magazines, but what I read in the Readers’ Forum from Norma Probus (February 2006 RDH) was unbelievable.
I scrambled to find my December 2005 issue because I don’t remember seeing anything remotely unprofessional. Ms. Brandi Brawner looks great. It’s unfortunate that this picture would spark such ridiculous insecurity. My hat is off to Ms. Brawner and RDH for highlighting her accomplishments.
Lura Dioguardi, RDH, BS