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Rich teeth, poor teeth – addressing the clearest indicator of economic class in America

By Kellen Squire ~ Daily Kos ~

We can do so much better. While the struggle for Medicare For All is ongoing at the federal level, here in Virginia, we should expand Medicaid to cover dental services. We should be giving state income tax breaks to dental professionals, from hygienists to DDSes, of up to 100% if they operate and practice in “dental care deserts”. We should lower bureaucratic red tape to open new practices, as long as it doesn’t impact patient safety. We should be doing what it takes to make this better- not just laud organizations like RAM for doing God’s work- and then look the other way as being “someone else’s problem.”

As Sarah Smarsh sagely notes, “The problem of the 21st century is that of the class line. For the the American Dream to put its money where its mouth is, we need not just laws ensuring, say, universal dental care, but individual awareness of the judgments we pass on people whose teeth – or clothes, waist lines, grocery carts, or limps – represent our worst nightmares.”

We can, we should, and we must work together to make it happen.

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