In our local paper on Sunday, there was an article that clearly demonstrated the large disparity that exists between what the federal and state government is paying for dental services with those dentists who are working in the private sector and those dentists employed by the government. The key phrase to remember is “Greater than 300% !!!.” This same disparity exists with physicians.
If your private dentist puts in a filling for a Medicaid patient, he is paid $48. A government employed dentist is reimbursed over 300 times that amount at $135-$275. If your private dentist performs a tooth extraction, he is reimbursed $55. A government employed dentist is reimbursed $135-$275 for the same care. Now, what does all that mean and why should I really care?
Follow the money. You can be sure aspiring new physicians and dentist will be. They will be forced to go where they will be able to make enough money to pay back their student loans. This will not happen in the private sector when the competing government clinics can offer loan repayment and increased pay for serving where the reimbursement rates are significantly higher.
Soon, there will be no private sector left and everyone will be forced into a one payer system which many believe is the government’s ultimate goal anyway. Does that sound good to you? Do you only want to be able to shop at one store like Thriftway and not have options such as Albertsons, Safeway, and Costco?
I suggest that we create a referendum that forces the government to reimburse all physicians and dentists equally.