Letters: Cabinet appointment
February 20, 2017
As a life member, I would appreciate a little honest, straight talk from my association.
To quote from the Jan. 23 ADA News article “Association Weighs in on Affordable Care Act Repeal,
” the possible repeal of ACA “should not result in Americans losing dental coverage gained under the ACA and should emphasize value while supporting the doctor-patient relationship, ensure a competitive insurance marketplace and safeguard the most vulnerable among us who rely on Medicaid for their health coverage.”
The same issue includes the article, “ADA to Congress: ‘Promptly Confirm Dr. Tom Price’” about President Trump’s nomination for Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Sorry, but you can’t have both ways. We continue to try to dance on the head of the needle.
We like it when our government supports Medicaid and helps those that suffer from inadequate care. But then in the same breath we want to confirm Dr. Price who would, to quote Politico “Limit federal Medicaid spending to give states a lump sum, or block grant, and more control over how they could use it.
“It’s a long-sought goal of conservatives and a potential nightmare for advocates for the poor who fear many would lose coverage.” If we want to safeguard the most vulnerable among us then we cannot support Dr. Price. But of course, we know that so why not just admit it? If we want to walk the walk and just not talk the talk, we need to support those people and programs that will increase not decrease government involvement.
So, let’s be honest and admit we don’t want to walk the walk. In fact, we never did.
I submit our association doesn’t believe dental care is a right but it is just a privilege. You fight for a right but just give lip service for a privileged. So please be honest and take a side — is dentistry a right or a privilege? You can’t have it both ways and the answer will determine our fate. Personally, I am tired of dancing on the needle.
Paul Benjamin, D.M.D.
Miami Shores, Florida
Editor’s note: The Council on Government Affairs said the ADA based its letter of support for Dr. Price’s nomination on his “in-depth understanding of the need to protect the doctor-patient relationship” and his appreciation for “how excessive regulatory burdens can, in many cases, overwhelm medical and dental professionals and impede patient care.” We stand by those statements. The ADA’s positions on federal legislation and regulations are always based firmly in ADA policy and have the express support of the Association’s leadership. Like any association representing health care professionals, the ADA will at times take positions different from positions taken by elected officials or the head of federal agencies. But when the ADA takes a position we put all of the association’s resources behind our efforts.