In the Richest Country in the World, Boy Dies of Toothache
An off and on homeless family, sick children, no medical insurance. Medicaid failed them. The dentists won't see the child because they don't accept Medicaid. Seeing the doctor in the beginning would've cost $80. Now, the boy is dead, and the bill is $250,000. Welcome to America.
Sick? Show me your insurance card. Don't have one? Go die.
For Want of a Dentist, by Mary Otto
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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.
If Medicaid dentists weren't so hard to find.
If his mother hadn't been focused on getting a dentist for his brother, who had six rotted teeth.
By the time Deamonte's own aching tooth got any attention, the bacteria from the abscess had spread to his brain, doctors said. After two operations and more than six weeks of hospital care, the Prince George's County boy died.
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.