(This diary was cross-posted by author from the Daily Kos and was rated as the number #1 diary on January 14th 2012 as indicated at the link below.)
(Written by an American Expat living in the E.U.)
That’s when I knew the America I grew up in was gone for good.
For me leaving home, family and friends was easier for me to live with than watching the America that I grew up in die!
In order for me to stay human! I couldn’t allow myself to become desensitized and assimilated to the hunger, fear and suffering. I knew for me to not be assimilated and stay human I was going have to leave America for good. I had to leave America! It was just too painful to stay and watch the America I grew up in die!
There’s something deeply medieval about neo feudal America as 132 million Americans who can’t eat normal food because they can’t properly chew anything because they have no dental insurance. While some people like to wake to music from their clock radios, these Americans can’t really appreciate the rendition that you and I hear fully, because they have ringing in the ears, that’s what dental pain does, and too many of them millions, many of them children live that way everyday in the richest country in the world which doesn’t really give a shit about them!
As an American expat people tell me I’m a brave soul to have left America, home, family and friends, that people like me are a brand of the new American pioneer, who no longer just go West but every direction of the compass now. I realize I had to leave America when I saw I could no longer go to the fair. The America that I was raised in, county fairs were a big event. They had rodeo’s and clowns. The future farmers of America had events where they could win prizes. The fairways were busy with people and eating wonderful things like cotton candy in big reddish orange plumes, and laughing and going on bumpy rides to the cheers and screams of delight echoing through the fairgrounds.
Now the fairgrounds of America from sea to shining sea are regularly turned into what some are calling the nightwalkers’ waiting room, who stand in long lines sometimes all night to get urgently needed dental care. They don’t mind staying up and standing out in the cold, in the dark often times with their family members, because they and the people around them live in chronic pain, probably almost everyday. These people are desperate and they are too afraid to go to sleep, because they know that with first come, first serve, people will be getting turned away before daybreak. Some have been quoted as saying that farm animals are treated better than they are.
In the America I grew up in we used to care about each other.
What the Hell happened to us? Where did America lose its way?
Here is a story of a young woman who is a great American! An American mother standing in line all night to get free dental care, when her water broke and guess what that brave American woman didn’t want to get out of line because she had obviously been in sooooooo much pain for so long. What kind of American family values are these that we’re promulgating? How could we allow this type of barbaric inhumane treatment to befall a brave American vulnerable young mother, in what is suppose to be the richest country on earth. (While we’re at it let’s ask, especially in her condition what the hell was she doing in that line in the first place? Did being in that line cause her to go into labor on that day?). America for which with all of its vast wealth has nothing to give to millions like this young mother. Isn’t that truly the definition of poverty. Who is defending THIS American mother. Is it the U.S. Military? Is it the U.S. Congress? Is it you? We are spending billions of dollars on what, and we let this happen to a vulnerable young pregnant American woman, who is a great American. Shame on us all! There is no other major industrialized country in the world where this is allowed to happen. Doesn’t that give new meaning to the words ONLY IN AMERICA!!
Free Health Clinic Need Persists Along With Recession
By Tom Sullivan
WISE, VA: A pregnant woman’s water broke as she awaited free dental care at the Wise County, VA fairgrounds on Saturday. She had stood in line in hot and muggy weather with over a thousand others to get a numbered ticket at the 12th annual Remote Area Medical (RAM) Health Expedition. According to RAM staffer, Jean Jolly, she didn’t want to leave and lose her place in line.
I want to recognize TeacherKen who is featured as a volunteer in the above article from which I offer a short quote.
“People wait overnight for free dental clinic in Springfield
ORGANIZERS HAD TO START TURNING PEOPLE AWAY AT 5 A.M. FRIDAY.
Renee Owen, 42, of Willard arrived at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds just before noon Thursday with an aching mouth and an umbrella to guard against the late morning drizzle.She and her younger sister, April Thompson, 35, waited outside for about 17 hours in the parking lot. About 940 people joined them as the night wore on, all hoping for free dental care”.
“Owen, who was wearing two sweatshirts and multiple T-shirts against the 46-degree chill, said she had been living with pain from a bad tooth for about two years. Her husband, Shawn, is self-employed as a homebuilder, and business is slow. The family doesn’t have dental insurance……………”
“It actually got so bad that I went online and read that you can put Bacardi on it with a Q-Tip,” Owen said. “It helped. My husband went to the liquor store. We don’t drink booze. The woman asked him, ‘Are you going to drink this or put it on a tooth?’ I guess a lot of people use this.”
Serious dental pain is a terrible thing, for anyone who has ever had this knows what it’s like when you can’t eat, can’t sleep and you feel tortured. Now imagine you can’t be seen by a dentist for weeks, months or even years, and then you get discriminated against because you have no teeth and people can see it every time you open your mouth. Life then for you becomes one big exercise in pain and humiliation, because dental care and medical care in America, unlike every other major industrialized country in the world is not a human right, therefore we don’t treat these people like human beings. In fact for the most part we don’t treat them at all, except at the fairgrounds!
When I knew that, I was unable to enjoy myself at the fairgrounds anymore, because I realized that this was nothing less than a crime against humanity, that the people perpetrating this weren’t Americans, in fact they weren’t even human, they are the 1% who are the plutocracy, the overlords as it were of the neo feudal America! How else can we describe people who want to profit from your pain. People who don’t believe in human rights. People who don’t believe in dignity. What they believe in is the criminal enterprise in America known as for profit dentistry. It is a subset of criminal enterprise known as for-profit medical which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street.
So the next time you go to a county fair please think about America’s nouveau poor and America’s traditionally poor and disadvantaged who populate the ranks of the dentally uninsured in America, and there is 132 million of them and millions of them tonight aren’t going to be able to get a good night’s sleep, because they live in chronic pain. Those of us who allow this to happen ought to live in chronic shame. But the truth is pigs have no shame, nor do they have any humanity, and their goal in life is to dehumanize the rest of us through a process of insidious assimilation. That’s why I had to leave America. I didn’t want to be assimilated into indifference and experience the loss of that humanity like the people around me, who are busy joining the Tea Party.
So we step over the medically/dentally uninsured in America, just exactly the same way we step over the homeless lying in the steets with a complete callous disregard for their humanity. We have allowed ourselves to become brainwashed and desensitized ourselves to the point where we no longer see these people as people, and in the process thereof we ourselves have become dehumanized. Now as an American expat living in the European Union, how is it that you think that Europe sees America? There’s a shame in America that comes with knowing that no other industrialized country treats its citizens like this.
Welcome to the 1%er’s neo feudal America!
Free medical and dental care clinic at South Florida Fairgrounds canceled
By Andrew Marra
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Updated: 7:40 a.m. Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Kaplan said he needed 50 volunteer dentists, but only had a dozen or so. He was disappointed but said he would try to organize another clinic.
“I can put up with this,” Kaplan said. “This is another day.”
Remote Area Medical criticized state restrictions that bar out-of-state doctors and dentists from volunteering in Florida, arguing that repealing the prohibition would increase “the likelihood that a sufficient number of volunteers would be available to staff such a clinic.”
Where did America lose its way?
People who are in need of urgent dental care who cannot access it, often are forced to turn to hospital emergency rooms to receive prescriptions for antibiotics in order to treat raging oral infections, where no dental treatment is available, only to have that infection reoccur again in the foreseeable future. This over-prescribing of antibiotics has far reaching deleterious effects on the patient whose immune system gets somewhat suppressed and leads to drug resistant bacteria. Also long term antibiotic use can create serious stomach problems for people, as the antibiotics kill the good bacteria needed for digestion in the intestinal tract. This can lead to nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. This can be particularly worrying in vulnerable populations, but it can affect any age group. Also chronic tooth pain can cause chronic headaches and depression in people of all ages. Some antidepressant medications can also have substantial side effects. Lack of dental access in America is definitely nothing to smile about. It is instead an international badge of shame, as all other major industrialized countries on earth offer dental and medical treatment as a human right that all are entitled to. blockquote
Allegany County Fairgrounds Free Dental Clinic
October 28, 29, 2011
October 28th, 2011 – October 29th, 2011
11490 Moss Avenue Extended
Cumberland, MD – 21501
The Western Maryland Mission of Mercy is a two day free dental clinic that provides free services to people who could not otherwise afford dental care. Our clinic is a community partnership of several local organizations that include the Allegany-Garrett Dental Society, Allegany Health Right, County United Way and Western MD AHEC. At our first clinic in 2010, we served 810 people from 7 states and 23 counties. We provided $700,000 in free oral-health care.
In the America I grew up in we used to care about each other.
What the Hell happened to us? Where did America lose its way?
Free Dental Clinic To Be Offered At Fairgrounds
A group called the Kansas Mission of Mercy is planning for a large turnout at its free dental care clinic this weekend in Hutchinson.
Reporter: Associated Press
Email Address: email@example.com
Story 4 Comments
Monday, January 17, 2011
The fairgrounds will open the Sunflower south building on Thursday night for those who want to wait overnight. About 1,000 people will be seen each day.
Where did America lose its way?
Kansans lining up for free dental clinic at Fairgrounds
Published: 1/20/2011 4:15 pm
It’s estimated 1,000 people will be seen each day of the two-day event getting their teeth cleaned, filled or pulled…………………..
There are no appointments. Patients will be seen on a first come, first served basis.
There’s something deeply medieval about neo feudal America!
Isn’t this the same type of dental care that people in the Medieval era received. That is to say no dental care at all except to pull out bad teeth!
For me leaving home, family and friends was easier for me to live with than watching
the America that I grew up in die!
This goes on an issue of what we MBA’s call, the assumption of risk. In America so goes the conservative philosophy “we are a land of rugged individualists”, which means that it’s every person for themselves and God for us all. Ergo, the GOP led class warfare wherein we are all pushed to assume individual responsibility while at all costs avoiding collective responsibility. The only problem with that is as a tenet of basic economics, if we do not work as a collective we cannot leverage economies of scale. In other words, Americans pay more about 15% or 16% for health care because not everyone is in the system and therefore while Europe pays about 9% of GNP for medical, America pays about 16% of GNP for medical and we have shorter life spans as well.
No wonder the American for-profit dental and health care model does not allow itself to be exported outside the captured market of the United States.
This action diary asks in the comment’s section of this diary if you would like to exercise your generosity by helping someone with urgent dental care needs feel free to contact them directly to offer any help that you may be able to.
P.S. UPDATE I have added a comment from the diary posted by teacherKen below:
I am just an ordinary volunteer (3+ / 0-)
I was posting a comment that seems to get lost.
Until November 2008 I did not know about the problem. Then my cohort of the Political Leaders Program at Sorensen Institute voted to have a reunion in July 2009 at the Wise health fare because two of the cohort had been there in July 2008. The following day the Washington Post Magazine had a featured story about which i wrote in This will break your heart – and it should.
But I was still not prepared for what i encountered when I showed up at the Wise County Fairgrounds the following year. After my first day I poured out my heart and soul in A different perspective on the health care debate. Since then I have attended 7 additional events, each time volunteering in dental triage, always writing at least one and sometimes more diaries about the experience, once even taking two students (both seniors for whom I have been honored to write college and scholarship recommendations) to volunteer with me.
The Affordable Care Act has made a difference, but it is not enough.
Thanks, for this diary.
We should remember that we have those who have gotten obscenely rich while devastating the lives of others. King Coal did that in much of Appalachia. Those who have gotten rich should remember that all of us have paid taxes for so many things that have enabled you to benefit, and as Elizabeth Warren reminds us, we only ask that you give something back in taxes for the benefits you received.
ACA made a difference. But before we can truly address the magnitude of problems like this – and dental care is far from unique, although it is almost unique in its devastating effects – we will first have to fix our broken politics.
“what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community” – John Dewey
by teacherken on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 02:13:34 PM CET
After reading teacherken’s comment if you can shed a tear as did I, then you will know your still human and the 1%’s media have not brain washed you! Thanks teacherKen!! We love you man! Kaplan said.
This diary is dedicated to all of the dental volunteers all over America. Thank you for your humanity.
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(This diary was cross-posted by author from the Daily Kos)