I'll try and be brief. I'm not an expert on health care issues, nor do I play one on TV. Watching from the outside, I've always wondered why it is that eyes and teeth aren't covered under normal insurance. If you have regular insurance. Most everything else is, but the eyes and teeth?
No- too specialized. Or something...Like I said, not an expert.
But it does make me- a person who is ok with not having the government involved in my healthcare- wonder if maybe a method forward on this whole debate could be as simple as just mandating the inclusion of eye care and dental care in general health insurance. I understand there may be additional costs associated with the care of both- I mean once a year eye exam with potential glasses and twice a year dental checkup with potential fillings/removal of teeth, that could get expensive. Yet, I wonder if having that coverage included would help people in their overall health.
My contention is simple, dental health is a precursor to overall health. Poor dental hygiene has been linked to heart problems, and other health issues. Tackling a cause, even if only a secondary one, to poor health should, in theory, reduce overall costs to the healthcare system through early detection and prevention of more serious medical issues. It's better to help people maintain good oral hygiene now, and prevent potential medical conditions later. Preventative maintenance is always the better long term option.
As to the eyes, we are visual creatures. If you're reading this you understand this idea intuitively. We need our eyes to be functioning as close to 100% as possible. Poor vision can lead to accidents which- surprise- can lead to going to the ER. Going to the ER costs money- sometimes a lot of money. Having that eye exam covered and having the cost of glasses (I hate glasses BTW- with an unending passion, but I digress) covered could prevent those accidents from happening in the first place. Being able to see can also improve grades in school,a nd last I checked, good grades was important.
Now, I'm not going to sit here and posture on things I don't fully grasp like the long term effects of the healthcare market by including dental and eye care in general health insurance, but I think this idea at least merits some further investigation and study. And though I don't like the idea of the single payer system, I have this feeling that is where we are headed, and if that is the case, preventative healthcare should be the goal- and eye and tooth health is a good way to start. If we have to have a government funded or government regulated system, I feel it should focus on preventing problems, not reacting to problems. And maybe this could be a way to move forward, and get some real results between two warring parties.
What are your thoughts? Comment below and let me know. Like I said, not an exper. But I am willing to learn.