Archive for the ‘Health Care’ Category

It’s All About the Teeth: Becoming Long in the Tooth, Etc.

July 12, 2012

Unfortunately for many when one is said to be “long in the tooth” that person is often short of tooth, or teeth to be more precise. And, as you age it is often the case that replacements must be had for teeth that have been cast or extracted. I suspect that in time science will have figured a way for humans to grow new teeth just as we did as youngsters when we cast off our baby teeth.

But for now I for one must deal with the process of obtaining artificial replacement teeth; i.e. dentures. Some people fall for the lure of the single day total extraction and instant dentures approach. Perhaps my dentist is old school but he says the instant procedure is fraught with fitting problems down the road. So for me it is out with the old and several weeks sans teeth until proper new ones are made.

I asked my youngish, but never the less old school, dentist what was done with the extracted teeth. Do people ever want to save them? I asked because I had read about ancient customs of people saving their cast or removed teeth (more about this below), even being buried with them. He said that he had heard of that custom in his country (somewhere in Latin America, I forgot to ask where). Anyway, he went on to say that extracted teeth must handled as hazardous medical waste. Given today’s price of gold I suspect some patients would like to recover the precious metal to offset their dental bills!

Old superstitions and customs regarding teeth:

Although it was “unlucky to count your teeth,” according to Sidney Addy’s Folk Tales and Superstitions (1895), it was also “the custom in Derbyshire for people to preserve their teeth in jars until their deaths, after which the teeth were put into their coffins and buried with them. Mothers would also preserve the teeth of their infant children and keep them in jars. It is said that when you go to Heaven you will have to account for all the teeth that you have upon the earth. A man said that his grandmother used to call out at a funeral, Have you got his teeth in the coffin?”

Vance Randolph’s Ozark Superstitions (1947) pointed out that astrological signs determined when locals’ teeth were pulled, “even when they were in considerable pain. Hillfolk generally agree that . . . extractions go best in Aquarius or Pisces [and] old-timers say that it is better to pull a tooth in the morning than in the afternoon no matter what constellation the mouth’s in.”

In Folklore Notes on the Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties of England and the Borders (1879), William Henderson offered a curious superstition involving childhood tooth loss: “My Sussex correspondent tells me of a young woman of that county who remonstrated against throwing away children’s cast-teeth, declaring that, should they be found and gnawed by any animal, the child’s new tooth would be like one of that animal. In proof of her assertion, she used to cite a certain old Master Simmons, who had a very large pig’s tooth in his upper jaw, the sad consequence of his mother having by accident thrown one of his cast cast-teeth into the hog trough.”

Source: Courtesy of  author Jeffrey Kacirk who compiles the “Forgotten English” day calendars and has written several books about the English language and peculiar words in the lexicon.

So You Thought Standing to Nurse Was Only for Baby Hoofed Mammals!

May 11, 2012

Does Time magazine’s breastfeeding cover go too far?

Read more here…

 Following the Time Magazine controversy comes this brilliant parody courtesy of Rush Limbaugh’s staff:

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The Real Civil Rights Movement and the Phony One

May 21, 2010

Here Glenn Beck demolishes the notion that nationalized health care, and certain other items on the Pelosi/Reid/Obama agenda is somehow a “civil rights” matter.

Universal Health Care: A Train Wreck Headed Our Way….

May 7, 2008

The disaster of the Massachusetts universal healthcare system should give you a preview of what life under a universal healthcare scheme could be like. We reprint below an article by William Campbell Douglass, M.D. describing the health care disaster that would occur under a Clinton or Obama presidency.

Keep reading…


Dear Friend,

It’s only April, but the rhetoric of the 2008 Presidential Campaign is already at fever pitch. This November, as in all election years, there are important issues at stake. One of them is the issue of socialized medicine or, to use the Democrats’ latest euphemism for it, “universal healthcare.” Universal disaster is more like it. The Dems do their best to put a positive, humanitarian spin on the idea, but the long-term ramifications would be devastating.

The Democrats would have you believe that conservatives who are against universal healthcare take this stance because they are mean-spirited and compassionless. Naturally, this isn’t the case. And it’s hardly how I feel.

I am against universal healthcare because I believe it will create one of the most intrusive government bureaucracies since the Internal Revenue Service, and it will impinge heavily on the individual freedoms of all American citizens.

Both Clinton and Obama would attempt to achieve universal healthcare coverage by relying primarily on private insurance. That’s right – they would look to solve our nation’s health care problems by giving control of the system to the insurance companies. Wow.

Their plans rely on an “individual mandate” – a legal requirement that every person obtain coverage. This is already law in Massachusetts, which mandates coverage for both adults and children (more on this below). The Massachusetts model is exactly what Hillary Clinton would try to impose nationally. Obama’s plan would only require that parents obtain coverage for their children.

One of the key misconceptions among those who support either Clinton or Obama is that a universal healthcare system would make healthcare more affordable. What delusional planet are they from? Under socialized medicine, the healthcare system may be perceived as being more fair, but it certainly won’t be any cheaper.

A better way to describe the program would be to call it “universal heath insurance.” The idea is that by compelling everyone in the nation to participate in the insurance market, you’d cut down on what’s known as the “free rider” syndrome. As the term suggests, this would be people getting a “free ride” from the healthcare system by deciding not to get their own health insurance because they’ve been assured that in the case of an emergency or personal health catastrophe, inexpensive care will be guaranteed to them by the government. The theory is that mandated participation would help to drive down insurance costs.

But any mandate requires an enforcement component. My fear is that a government branch with the kind of power to actually identify and penalize those seeking to avoid the insurance mandates of universal healthcare would be vast and all-powerful. The new healthcare arm of the government would likely have the same kind of power (and loathsome reputation) as the IRS.

I’m all about personal freedom and the rights of individuals. Universal healthcare is not only impractical, but costly – and not just for your pocketbook. It’s handing over yet another right to the government, and allowing the government to decide and rule your fate.

I’m not compassionless—I’m just sensible. And universal healthcare as it’s being proposed by both Clinton and Obama still doesn’t make much sense to me.

The universal healthcare dam springs a leak

As I mentioned earlier, a Clinton-style program of mandated health insurance is already in effect in Massachusetts. Under that system, subsidized insurance is made available to individuals earning up to $30,636 annually, and families of four earning up to $61,956 per year. The state government has begun to impose stiff fines on residents who fail to purchase health insurance – and the penalties can amount to as much as $912 a year!

And this place is already known as “Tax-achusetts!”

Even though this system is in its infancy, it already has many vocal opponents. Devon Herrick, a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis calls the Massachusetts universal coverage plan “overregulated and largely unworkable.” Herrick explains that the least expensive health plan available through the program costs $196 a month, while the state fine for being uninsured is about half that cost — $98 a month!

After just two years, Massachusetts’ universal coverage program is running at a staggering $147 million deficit, and the four insurance carriers who provide the state- subsidized insurance are estimating that costs will go up by 14 percent next year.

Even more shocking is the manner in which Massachusetts state officials have decided to deal with the out-of-control costs of their broken system: they’ve ordered the insurance companies to cut payments to doctors and hospitals, reduce choices for payments, and possibly increase how much patients will have to pay.

I only hope that Americans get a good, long look at the disaster that universal healthcare has wrought on the economy and people of Massachusetts before a similar catastrophe is unleashed on the whole country. The train wreck in New England is headed our way if Clinton or Obama get into the oval office.

America: you have been warned.
William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.

(emphasis added; Dr. Douglass can be contacted here.)

Also see Cato Institute’s Michael Tanner on plan proposed for D.C.

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