Obamacare: Where is Dentistry in all this?

Today is Friday, March 26, 2010.  Less than a week ago, Obama signed into law a sweeping revision of how health care is delivered in this country.  I have spent most of my free time trying to find out how dentistry will be affected.  I have a copy of the bill, and I have been going thru it, but I still cannot answer the question definitively.  Neither can organized dentistry, specifically, the American Dental Association.  Last night, I heard a “glimmer of hope” on talk radio:  Hugh Hewitt said, with some confidence, that dentistry was not in the bill.   While I’m breathing a sigh of relief,  this early in the game, I have to qualify his answer and say it may not be so.  There are many aspects of the bill that are “shells” that remain to be formed, and their power and reach remains to be seen.  I can tell you, even if dentistry is not in the bill, the average patient’s ability to pay, even copayments, will decrease simply because this new health bill will behave like a black hole, sucking in every elective dollar that’s available.  “Leaving dentistry out” is not uncommon with other socialized medical systems in other countries…most of them have excluded dentistry, as a matter of course, simply because they cannot afford it.  I’ll bring you more as I learn more…

Dr. Giacopuzzi

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