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Hidden Rations; Why poor kids can't find a dentist—A Commentary by Anne Alstott ’87

The following commentary was published in Slate on May 29, 2007.
Hidden Rations; Why poor kids can't find a dentist
By Anne Alstott ’87

Earlier this year, Deamonte Driver, a 12-year-old boy living in Maryland, died after he got a tooth infection that led to a brain infection. Deamonte had never seen a dentist. The problem wasn't that he was among America's 47 million uninsured. He was covered by Medicaid, the federal health-insurance program for the poor, which includes dental care for kids. But Medicaid reimbursement rates for dentists in Maryland—as in many states—are set at such low rates that few dentists accept Medicaid patients. READ ENTIRE SLATE COMMENTARY