At this point in my wanderings through the “universal health care bill” being pushed by Sen. Dodd (D. Ct.), I thought a bit of levity might be in order. Either that, or my brain has turned to mush at only page 376 of this svelte 615 page proposed bill.
Oral hygiene is certainly a good thing. At least that’s what my parents taught us…brush your teeth after every meal, use dental floss, go to the dentist at least twice a year. But, this section seems to trump even my Mom and Dad’s advice with language like “oral health leadership” and “multi-dimensional delivery system for oral health”, and “verification of dental utilization”.
I’m not making fun of the program, simply the choice of words used to describe it.
Title III, Subtitle B, Section 313 of the Affordable Health Choices Act (found beginning on page 376) is entitled, “Oral Healthcare Prevention Activities”. From the title, though, it almost sounds like they are trying to prevent oral health care, rather than promote it. But, maybe that’s just me.
This section also includes funding for what’s called the National Oral Health Surveillance System. I haven’t a clue as to what that is, as the proposed legislation is silent on that. Just the words, however, conjure up images of a name more suited to a missile defense program or a covert CIA operation, rather than something dealing with oral hygiene. But, apparently 16 states already belong to this “surveillance system”, so hopefully, someone out there could fill the rest of us in on exactly what it is.
The troubling part of this section, though, is the funding allocated to it.
There is authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for each of the fiscal years 2010 through 2014 to increase the participation of States in the National Oral Health Surveillance System from 16 States to all 50 States, territories, and the District of Columbia [emphasis supplied].
To me that sounds like a blank check, and, I don’t like blank checks. Unless, of course, I am the payee.