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?