Roe, Universal Health Care, and Congress

Barry Gander
8 min readMay 17, 2022

OR: Why Do Only Rich People Have Teeth?

Reproductive health rights are the most immediately-visible thorn on a wall of thistles across America. They illustrate the need for a total adjustment in how all healthcare policy is made.

The decision-makers have isolated themselves from the pain of the people. Lawmakers literally do not feel the need.

This makes it easy for corporations and special-interest groups to impose solutions on the nation that are widely opposed by most people. Some 80% of Americans want access to abortion, and 70% want universal health care.

This conjunction in health care causes, recognizes that the ability of all women to care for themselves requires access to compassionate health care.

Roe is a perfect illustration of this: the reproductive decision essentially is one between a woman and her physician, not between a woman and a politician’s beliefs, and it should be available for all.

The link between Roe and Healthcare is very tight: the state that struck down Roe — Mississippi — also does the least to provide health care coverage to low-income people who have given birth.

And here is the key to the disconnect: there is a huge difference between the healthcare that the people get, and what their Congressional law-makers give themselves.

For example, Sharon Marchio, 73, in West Virginia, misses having teeth.

She yearns for the days when she could eat and speak without trouble. One-quarter of West Virginians her age have no natural teeth.

A fellow West Virginian, her Senator Joe Manchin, has his own teeth, and opposes adding benefits like this to the Medicare program. More than half the people on Medicare do not have dental coverage and have not visited a dentist in the past year. Manchin says it will cost too much.

Left unmentioned is the business motive. Adding dental to Medicare will reduce the number of those patients considered to be the most lucrative for dentists: those who pay out-of-pocket and don’t…

Barry Gander

A Canadian from Connecticut: 2 strikes against me! I'm a top writer, looking for the Meaning under the headlines. Follow me on Mastodon @Barry