Dental care is health care

I’m a senior who depends on Medicare and Medicaid (MaineCare) for my health

care. I believe that health care is essential for the concept of living, a right that every

human being should have. I also believe that proper and effective medical care should include dental care; it being proven based on real empirical clinical data, that good dental health is

essential to the concept of a human being having good and total health.

To put it in another way, one who has bad dental and oral health cannot be considered totally healthy. Scientific, medical literature is rife with reports linking severe and untreated dental maladies with increased odd of dying.

Total health cannot really exist without total dental health. And one who is not healthy cannot fully maximize their potential as a contributing member of society. Ergo, I fully support the idea of including complete health care coverage underwritten by Medicaid (MaineCare, here in Maine).

William Tibby

Mount Vernon

Susan Collins leadership on drug shortages

Ongoing critical prescription drug shortages continue to jeopardize Mainers’ access to essential medications. While local hospitals are consistently working to mitigate the impact of drug shortages, more must be done to keep such shortages from occurring in the first place.

Thankfully, Sen. Susan Collins is leading the way, introducing legislation called the MEDS Act that will help prevent drug shortages in Maine and across the country.

The MEDS Act provides the FDA with additional authority to address drug shortages, strengthens manufacturing reporting requirements and develops new market-based incentives to help ensure a stable supply of critical prescription drugs. This bill is an important step forward in the fight to address drug shortages, and welcome news to all health care stakeholders as we work to preserve patient care.

As the sourcing and purchasing partners to America’s acute and non-acute care facilities, health care group purchasing organizations have a unique line of sight over the entire supply chain. We know firsthand just how devastating shortages can be for patients and health care providers. And we know conditions won’t change until policy solutions like the MEDS Act are enacted. We strongly support the MEDS Act and applaud Collins for her leadership on drug shortages.

Khatereh Calleja

President and CEO

Healthcare Supply Chain Association

Washington, D.C.

Medicare for all unsustainable

While the Medicare for all debate rages, a recent report in the journal Health Affairs highlights some evidence that Medicare may not be the for which panacea we long.

The study points out that Medicare recipients with serious health issues can face high out of pocket costs, with the cost of prescription drugs named as the principal issue.

One third report using all or most of their savings to pay medical bills and 23 percent were unable to pay for food, heat and housing due to medical bills.

Before you chalk those numbers up to the fact that Medicare recipients are old, so therefore more likely to be ill, consider that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. have two or more chronic diseases. Those chronic illnesses are one of the key drivers of health care costs.

Medicare for all isn’t going to fix the costs of a health care system that’s skewed toward treatment rather than prevention.

No matter what we name it, we should call it “unsustainable.”

Mary Ann Larson