I am not yet senior age but am disabled and have Medicare and Medicaid. I was working until recently but still could not afford dental care beyond a few minor things that wiped out all my money but need attending to again. Years ago I spent thousands on root canals that failed, crowns that later came off due to exerting too much pressure to compensate for the teeth missing after the rcs failed... It goes on and on. And the costs are even more exorbitant these days.
But now, for a year and a half I have had a major abscess (and other problems). I cannot afford root canals and crowns. There is no dental school for several hundred miles. The only thing Medicaid covers is an extraction, but if I lose another tooth the few remaining will go too. I'm not that concerned about appearance, but I want to be able to eat! I've had to go to the hospital three times to get antibiotics to stave it off for awhile and there was some concern it had spread to a dangerous level. Why go to a hospital and not a family physician for antibiotics? Because NO general doctor in this area accepts new Medicare or Medicaid patients! My doctor moved and for two years I haven't been able to find one. When you call for an appointment they screen you for insurance, or just outright before they ask for your name or anything else state they don't accept Medicare or Medicaid. How can that even be legal?
I grew up in a middle class household and had good nutrition, hygiene, and regular dental care. I have a master's degree. Still I am living under the poverty line and soon to be toothless! There was a time when I smugly believed this could never happen to me, but now I see how most people who think they're somehow better or exempt are deluded. And if they are lucky or more privileged, they should at least think about their children and grandchildren.
People who try, and people who work hard in their lifetimes, are being driven into poverty by this avaricious system, and the endless cuts to every single program that makes a society civilized, so working people can toil till death and the elderly and sick starve or die from illnesses that would've taken so little to address, all to pay for a few people and huge corporations to get richer and more powerful. Supposedly the worth of any society is measured by how it treats its "weakest" members, so what does it say about our society, that it operates to weaken most of its members in order to benefit a few? And then belittles and blames them for it? I'm SO TIRED OF IT!!!
Thank you Susana for your candor. Everyone should speak up. But I'm sorry to tell you, it looks like there is NOWHERE for you or me or anonymous up there or most of us to go.