An elderly Michigan woman died in October as the result of a severe dental infection after adult dental Medicaid benefits were cut in the state. Blanche D. LaVire, 76, had been diagnosed with abscesses earlier in the year and reportedly suffered from advanced periodontitis.
Because LaVire was mentally challenged, she required special treatment. Her condition was such that her doctors felt it would be unwise to undergo treatment in a dentist’s office. Advised to have the necessary procedure performed in a hospital, LaVire was then scheduled for an oral surgery near the end of June. The procedure was delayed when LaVire contracted pneumonia.
Once she had recovered from the pneumonia, doctors attempted to reschedule LaVire’s procedure, but discovered she was no longer covered by Medicaid. An executive order issued by Michigan’s Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm had taken effect on July 1 that dramatically cut adult dental Medicaid benefits. All oral health services were eliminated by the order, with the exception of emergency services.
Doctors began the filing procedure to prove that LaVire’s case was indeed an emergency, but her infection was growing worse. With LaVire left unable to afford care, dentists with Michigan’s Dental Clinics North volunteered to treat her for free, but Medicaid would not pay the $5,000 hospital fees. LaVire then had no choice but to wait, hoping to be approved for emergency dental coverage. She died, still waiting, on October 7. Gerald Case, health officer with the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, spoke bluntly on the horror of the situation, saying, “Frankly, by the time the documentation was put together, she died.”
I’m just sayin’ ….
Let’s see if anyone notices, you know? I mean, this sounds like political hellfire if spun right. But it’s the Socialists covering this story, so nobody’s going to give a damn, are they?
Okay, so there was this one time that a friend’s cat died. It’s still unclear what, exactly, happened, but it ended up one day that we all were suddenly out looking for this cat. And we found it, gravely injured. Something had opened up a hideous gash in its side. It pleaded with a gutteral tone, breath rattling and bubbling. Our friends whisked the cat to the nearest veterinarian; I won’t name names because I don’t remember specifically, but it was one of those big, warehouse-like pet stores.
Then there came a call: It would cost two hundred dollars to put the cat down. Everybody scrambled to cover the difference. And the vet was waiting, everything prepared and ready to go. And the second they had the money he ended that poor feline’s misery.
It’s not really innate greed, is it? I mean, the vet’s? Surely this is some corporate policy. But that is all in the past. A long time ago, now. What I’m after is the principle.
Was there no dentist who could simply do the work? How is it that we can’t do what needs to be done and figure the rest out later?