The Insurance Company or the Government – which is more generous?

One of the characteristics of modern liberalism is that they stir up animosity against capitalism. Corporations are evil because they make a profit. The government, however, has altruistic motives and that is where all the good people are.

To believe this you have to be blind to your own experiences with both institutions. Everyone knows that you are much more likely to get courteous treatment at your local grocery store than at the Post Office or department of motor vehicles. So it’s surprising to me how many people fall for this.

I was just reflecting on this when I was answering a question on a dental information blog of mine. A guy named Mark from New York told me he wanted white composite fillings on his back teeth but  had been told that many dental insurance plans would not cover them.

I explained that this wasn’t true. For the last several years of my practice, I did almost exclusively composite fillings on all my patients’ back teeth, and they always got an insurance benefit. Usually, the insurance company paid the benefit they would have paid for the cheaper amalgam filling, and the patient then paid the difference. But then it occurred to me that one dental plan would not pay any benefits for a composite filling on a back tooth, and that was Medicaid, the one run by the government.

Anyone who has worked in the dental field and who has dealt with Medicaid-funded dental care will tell you that they are the worst as far as their stinginess with benefits. When I started my practice, they would pay maybe 2/3 of the average fees for procedures. As time went on, they got stingier and stingier until that fraction was down to about 1/3 of the regular fee. For some procedures that were typically sent to a dental laboratory, their reimbursement was less than the laboratory cost. And they had severe restrictions as far as what you could do for people. They would not pay to replace back teeth unless a patient was missing half or more of their back teeth. Private dental insurance would pay to replace a single back tooth.

Think for yourselves, people. Don’t respond to this demonizing of the profit motive. It leads to competition which gives incentives for excellence and customer service. It’s what has made our country great.

About mesasmiles

By Dr. David Hall. Dr. Hall runs Infinity Dental Web, a small company that does Internet marketing for dentists. He has had a long-standing interest in politics and as a college student toyed with the idea of a political career.
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