When health-care czar Tom Daschle talks about universal health care, he isn’t merely talking about medical care. “A reformed health-care system also should guarantee that every American has access to affordable dental care,” Daschle writes in his book Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis. Among the stories he tells is one of a Maryland boy who died from an infection relating to a dental abscess. Also, he cites a research report profiling a woman who suffered reduced employment prospects after she pulled out her own teeth because her toothaches were so bad:
Her physical appearance (missing and rotten teeth, a near-sighted squint, and her generally unkempt presentation) makes it unlikely that she can fulfill her dream job in a veterinarian’s office, where she would be dealing with the public. She is more likely to be steered toward jobs like the one she found shortly before we met her — conducting a phone survey during the evening hours at the local university.
As we reform our health care system, the question is, where do you draw the line? People are suffering throughout this country everyday for a litany of reasons — sometimes self-inflicted, often a matter of bad luck or unfortunate circumstances. Daschle writes as if the government has unlimited resources to insulate people from the travails of every day life, and eliminate all human suffering.