The dental benefits issue came to the forefront recently here in Massachusetts, a state known for generous Medicaid benefits. Under budgetary pressures, the state stopped paying private Medicaid providers for fillings, root canals, crowns and dentures in July 2010. But it recently decided to restore part of that coverage. Starting in January, Massachusetts Medicaid will pay for fillings — but only for those in the front of the mouth. The reasoning was that healthy front teeth were more important for getting and keeping jobs.
If you had already accepted that—under capitalism— sickness has been redefined as the inability to work, well, then Massachusetts’ redefinition of health care as “the bare minimum of aesthetic treatment to maintain your employability” should come as no surprise. If you’re just settling in to this nightmare, welcome.