Anyone who has heard Barack Obama's former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel's say "you never want a serious crisis go to waste" is understandably skeptical of the rush of "crises" that have gripped the nation in recent years. The president's health care overhaul, for instance, was made to be a crisis of monumental proportions, with doctors cutting off people's feet and taking out children's tonsils for profit, when in all likelihood the reforms have only worsened our situation.
Now, taxpayer-funded PBS is airing a documentary called "Dollars and Dentists" that may hold a peek into what America's next "crisis" could be, at least if you listen to politicians.
Watch the trailer, below:
The website reads:
More than 100 million Americans don’t go to the dentist because they can’t afford it. Instead, they end up broke, in severe pain and struggling to get by. Sometimes they even die.
Our next film, Dollars and Dentists, a joint investigation by FRONTLINE and the Center for Public Integrity, examines the nation’s ruptured dental-care system, and some solutions to fix it. It airs Tuesday, June 26...
New research released today from the Kaiser Family Foundation highlights just how dire our dental-care system has become. One in four children have untreated tooth decay, now the most common chronic illness among school-aged children. Adults fare no better. And one in four Medicare beneficiaries are missing all of their natural teeth — a problem that threatens not only among the elderly, but also the very poor. Low-income families and racial and ethnic minorities tend to be disproportionately affected because they tend to lack access to care, according to Kaiser.
Part of the problem is that many people don’t have dental insurance and can’t afford steep out-of-pocket costs for care. Medicare offers no dental coverage unless it’s connected to a medical procedure, Kaiser reports. Poor children are covered by Medicaid, but many dentists’ offices turn them away because the profit margins are so low. In 2009, according to the Kaiser data, 19 million children had no dental insurance — more than twice the number who went without health insurance.
Any of that sound familiar?
To top it off, Newsbusters' Mike Ciandella notes that the special was made in conjunction with the Center for Public Integrity, using the results of a Pew Research Center poll...both of which have received funding from billionaire activist George Soros. Pew got $500,000 in Soros money in 2009 alone, Newsbusters reports, while the Center for Public Integrity got $2,416,000 in Soros funds from 2000-2003.
The film does follow two private companies who have stepped in to help victims of the "crisis," according to the film's description, but the results are bleak. One of the companies reportedly "takes advantage of some of its young patients" while the other charges "hefty financing rates." The viewer is likely left to conclude, then, that government initiatives are the best, last option.
What remains to be seen is how the American people tackle this "crisis," if, indeed, it can even be sold as a "crisis" to begin with. Because wouldn't having teeth like the British, who have government-run dental care, be so much better?