Don't You Just Love American Dental Care?

 

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Many Americans fear going to the dentist, but it's not always the pain they fear.  The biggest fear is the cost of dental treatment.  Sometimes we see people with obviously missing, broken, or crooked teeth and automatically think they are low class or indigent. That is until we have to go to the dentist for a problem ourselves.  Many of us have dental insurance through our employer or personal private insurance.  But that only covers a certain amount per year, usually $1200 a year.

Our insurance is fine for cleanings, x-rays, the occasional filling, and possibly a root canal, but that's it. But what happens if we need a crown, a bridge or God forbid an implant?  Then we're sunk.  Employer dental plans don't cover those kinds of dental care.  They're not usually covered by private insurance plans either. And if you are retired, you have neither employer-sponsored dental insurance nor insurance through Medicare.  
 
The other day I had an appointment for a consultation with a prosthodontist which was recommended by my regular dentist.  I have some missing molars which make it difficult to wear a bridge and my bite changes.  Reluctantly I agreed to this appointment because my dentist thought my insurance might cover any recommended work.  On the day of the appointment, I put the address into my auto's GPS and went on my way. As I turned off the main highway towards my destination my initial reluctance began to be justified.  I entered an area populated with stately oak trees and well-manicured lawns surrounding impressive-looking office suites.  There were probably 15 such buildings within this forested office complex.  As I looked for my final goal, I could see employee parking lots with the occasional  Corvette Stingray, Maserati, Lamborghini, and numerous Lexus and Mercedes.  I remember saying out loud, "holy shit, this is going to cost me."

Upon arrival at the prosthodontist's office, I was immediately taken into the exam room.  When the dentist asked what he could do for me I told him that I didn't expect he could help me, but the appointment was my general dentist's idea.  He then proceeded with the exam and studied the x-rays I had brought with me. He jotted down some notes and then gave me his opinion of what could be done for me.  Then he gave me the cost!

He told me I had 2 options, one was doing just enough to improve my bite a little with a couple of implants and the other option was to fully restore my bite with more implants. The first option was $32,000 and the second option was $115, 000!  I laughed and said, "no way in hell"!  He then said that the only other option was to suggest my dentist make a mouthguard to wear at night which would prevent further damage to my teeth.  The cost would be up to my dentist and it probably would be covered by my insurance. 

As I was driving back home I wasn't disappointed or depressed as I knew that dental care in this country sucked, unless you're wealthy.  If you're a senior citizen or poor you can look forward to a life of liquid diets or gumming your Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners!  You gotta love "merican dental care!


You might like a similar article I wrote on expensive dental care published on Medium.





Why Do Republicans Value the Second Amendment Over All Other Amendments?

 

 
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"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed" is the second amendment of the Bill of Rights.  There are 9 other amendments in the Bill of Rights and 17 more amendments added to the Constitution since the Bill of Rights was written.  But why do Republicans value this one more than any other amendment?
 
The ignorant, ill-educated white supremacists armed to the teeth to go to Burger King are as far away from a well-regulated militia as can be.  Comparing these morons to the fit, well-trained members of the National Guard or a unit of any of the armed services is like comparing a Lamborghini to a rusty old tricycle.  The biggest difference is that the members of the National Guard and the regular military serve to protect our country or our community, whereas the gun-toting fascists serve to promote white supremacy and hatred of those of us who may be of different skin color, race, sexual identity, or religion.
 
The First Amendment protects the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press,  the right to assemble,  and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.  To Republicans, this amendment is not as important.  It is only important when the rights mentioned are in agreement with their own views, their own religion, and their own ethnicity.  Even though the rights mentioned in the first amendment are the foundation of a democracy,  an assault rifle is more important to Republicans.
 
The Ninth Amendment states that American citizens have far more rights than those explicitly described in the Bill of Rights.  To Republicans, this amendment has absolutely no value, as they choose to deny the rights of women to choose an abortion, the rights of Blacks to vote, or the right of gay people to marry.  This amendment is only important as it narrowly pertains to them.
 
So why do Republicans value the Second Amendment over everything?  Could it be because they need a gun to affirm their masculinity? Or to reinforce their false sense of superiority?  Or could there be another more sinister reason?  Perhaps they want to be able, sometime soon, to be able to take over the government in another armed insurrection! This is the only way for the Republican party to remain in power forever. 
 
 
 
 

Fear Thy Neighbor, and Even Friends and Relatives!

 

Pixabay



American society has changed since Donald Trump came on the political scene, and it's not for the good.  When Trump became President the heretofore hidden dregs of society were emboldened to come from underneath their rocks and into the mainstream culture.  Among them were racists, bigots, Nazis, fascists, and plain evil hate-filled people. Trump loved and embraced them, making up the bulk of his supporters.  He fired them up at his frequent rallies held, before his election, during his presidency, and after he lost re-election.  He attacked immigrants, the handicapped, women, the LGBTQ community, women, and people of color, to the delight of his followers.  

After his bid for a second term failed, he attempted a coup to stop the transfer of power and remain in office.  He did not attempt this coup alone.  He had the help of numerous Republican members of the House of Representatives and Senate, and even the wife of a Supreme Court Justice. As the January 6 Commission continues its investigation, the United States Secret Service has been implicated.  The coup is not over, even though the insurrection of January 6th is over.  The "big lie" continues with a majority of Republicans frozen in their fear of Trump's retaliation and the Red States scurrying to make it as difficult as possible for the poor and people of color to vote and setting the stage for the Republican state legislatures to overturn the election results if a Democrat wins.
 
We are now seeing the disastrous results of Trump and McConnell packing SCOTUS with 3 unqualified far-right Christo-fascists, who have overturned Roe vs Wade, New York State's common sense concealed weapons law, crippled major climate policies, and now set their sights on same-sex marriage, contraception, and possibly interracial marriage.  For the first time in our country's history, SCOTUS has become a political body founded on the Christian Bible.

We have become a society where not only do a majority of the people have to fear losing their Constitutional rights, but we have to fear our fundamental right of simply being alive.  Because the Republican party and now SCOTUS represents the NRA we have to fear carrying on with our everyday lives.  We have seen 19 children and 2 teachers killed in a classroom in Uvalde, Texas.  We have seen 10 people killed and 3 wounded in a Buffalo grocery store simply because they were Black. Seven people were killed at a 4th of July parade in Highland Park, Ill.  According to GunViolence Archivethere have been over 45 mass shootings from the July 4th shooting to today, July 24.
 
The Uvalde, Buffalo, and Highland Park shootings, as well as most, if not all of our mass shootings, had one thing in common, they involved military-style assault weapons. Yet Republicans in Congress have refused to ban assault weapons.  Even though Congress, with bipartisan support, passed a gun bill limiting the age for gun purchase and ownership, as well as ownership by domestic violence offenders, Republicans still oppose sensible gun control.
 
In the meantime Americans fear for their lives going to the grocery store, attending school, going to church, enjoying a parade, celebrating a holiday, going to a nightclub, shopping in a mall, or simply leaving their home!  Who is going to be the next mass shooter?  Is it the kid next door, the guy in the next aisle at the grocery store or Home Depot, a fellow worshiper, or someone in our family?  It's a gamble merely living your life.
 
At the same time, Americans fear losing their rights, their right to control their own healthcare, the right to choose to bear children, the right to love and marry the person of your choice, their right to clean air, the right to our Social Security, and even the right to vote. We don't fear the gunman, we have to fear the ones who will vote for those people who have said they will take those rights from us.  In other words, we have to fear those who support and vote for Republicans, who have declared war on our democracy and our right to live as we please. Please read my blog post, "You're Not My Ally and You Are Not My Friend" and be aware of who you trust.




Blogging, Why Do I Still Do It?

 Wikimedia Commons I've been blogging on and off for probably 15 years.  I've started and given up on at least three blogs when they...