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Michigan woman dies after Medicaid dental care is cut

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 04:19 AM
Original message
Michigan woman dies after Medicaid dental care is cut
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 dentists 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 LaVires procedure, but discovered she was no longer covered by Medicaid. An executive order issued by Michigans 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 LaVires case was indeed an emergency, but her infection was growing worse. With LaVire left unable to afford care, dentists with Michigans 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.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/nov2009/mich-n04.shtm...
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 04:36 AM
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1. Oh for Gods sakes, they began the filing procedure?
Is there really no risk to the doctor when they leave the patient in such a bad position while waiting for approvals? That seems negligent to me.
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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 04:54 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Seems the doctors were willing. The hospital fees were the issue nt
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 05:06 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Do hospitals only have to take you if you are dying on their floor?
Edited on Wed Nov-04-09 05:10 AM by dkf
If they know you will die without treatment do they not have an obligation to do something?

Another problem is that this "emergency" funding process is probably too slow to keep people from dying.
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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Unfortunately, yes. And difficult to prove they know you will die without treatment nt
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corpseratemedia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 06:08 AM
Response to Original message
4. dental care is health care
what "small govt." has done to medicaid is barbaric


if you have diabetes, etc...you have to have good dental care. And a lot of people on Medicaid have health problems.

the "Democrat" Governor is responsible for this. It's good that she's being sued and is being held responsible for what she did to this poor lady.



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Jennicut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. I am a diabetic and have to go to the dentist every six months.
Your gums can bleed easily and cuts in the mouth don't heal all that great when you are a diabetic.

I don't think Granholm is totally to blame. Dental is not being addressed and it is a huge problem. We need universal dental health care too.
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notadmblnd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Ms. Granholm would not have been able to make those cuts
if the republicans in the state senate hadn't voted for it. Do you live in Michigan? Do you know what kind of shape the last republican governor left the state in? Are you aware of how many jobs have been lost here? Didn't think so.
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corpseratemedia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. you don't sacrifice lives to meet a budget
Edited on Wed Nov-04-09 03:04 PM by corpseratemedia
dental care is vital for people with compromised immune systems.

Normal people are very tired of legislators trying to balance budgets (screwed up by dlc & republican nafta advocates and their "tax incentives" for corporations lackeys) on the backs of those least able to defend their own interests and the most live-or-die dependent on public assistance.


she's getting sued by HER OWN constituents, so they agree - and she didn't have to sign the bill.

You yourself write that The Governor "would not have been able to make those cuts if the republicans in the state senate hadn't voted for it." Why should any Democrat either propose or sign such a devastating bill?

I have some awareness as millions of people from the Northern states have moved here in the last few years. Millions of textile and manufacturing jobs have been lost here also. Do you live in the Southeast? Didn't think so.

edited to add: the sad thing that you couldn't see is that I was *in agreement* with the people of your state..the ones suffereing from the lack of necessary (vital) dental care.



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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
8. Uniquely American!
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Isn't it?
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 03:01 PM
Response to Original message
11. Sheesh.
Truly inhuman.
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joeybee12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 03:03 PM
Response to Original message
12. Great, you have to begin a long, bureaucratic process to prove AN EMERGENCY?
Doesn't emergency mean right away? Can someone tell me how a filing process is at all compatible with the term emergency?
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1776Forever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
13. The French Lesson In Health Care - They have Medigap for seniors to pay for dental, glasses, etc....

Business Week - JULY 9, 2007

The French Lesson In Health Care

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_28/b404...

Michael Moore's documentary Sicko trumpets France as one of the most effective providers of universal health care. His conclusions and fist-in-your-gut approach may drive some Americans up the wall. But whatever you think of Moore, the French systema complex mix of private and public financingoffers valuable lessons for would-be health-care reformers in the U.S.......

France also demonstrates that you can deliver stellar results with this mix of public and private financing. In a recent World Health Organization health-care ranking, France came in first, while the U.S. scored 37th, slightly better than Cuba and one notch above Slovenia. France's infant death rate is 3.9 per 1,000 live births, compared with 7 in the U.S., and average life expectancy is 79.4 years, two years more than in the U.S. The country has far more hospital beds and doctors per capita than America, and far lower rates of death from diabetes and heart disease. The difference in deaths from respiratory disease, an often preventable form of mortality, is particularly striking: 31.2 per 100,000 people in France, vs. 61.5 per 100,000 in the U.S.....

SAFETY NET

But the french system is much more generous to its entire population than the U.S. is to its seniors. Unlike with Medicare, there are no deductibles, just modest co- payments that are dismissed for the chronically ill. Additionally, almost all French buy supplemental insurance, similar to Medigap, which reduces their out-of-pocket costs and covers extra expenses such as private hospital rooms, eyeglasses, and dental care.

In France, the sicker you get, the less you pay. Chronic diseases, such as diabetes, and critical surgeries, such as a coronary bypass, are reimbursed at 100%. Cancer patients are treated free of charge. Patients suffering from colon cancer, for instance, can receive Genentech Inc.'s (DNA ) Avastin without charge. In the U.S., a patient may pay $48,000 a year.

More at link.

..........

:shrug: And why can't we do the same?
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