Letters to the editor 10/10

October 10, 2002

Dental care lacking in county

To the editor:

We have a major problem in the State of Maryland and especially in Washington County. That problem is dental care for foster children. All of the foster children are supposed to get public medical assistance for dental care. The problem is that there are very few, if any, dentists who will accept medical assistance for this service.

I have spoken to enough dentists to know what the problem is. According to them, the state reimburses so very little for dentistry for these children that it costs them too much for personnel and paperwork. Also, the state is extremely slow in paying the bill when it is submitted.

I spoke before the state/county delegation back in January, and told them of this problem. I was told at that time that they would seriously take a look at this issue. They very well may have done this, but to my knowledge nothing has changed. I recently had to take a foster child to Cumberland to get severely impacted wisdom teeth removed because no one would accept medical assistance for this surgery.


Since that meeting I have been told by several care providers that some disabled adults they do not have any teeth, and there is no service available to provide them with dentures. Their food has to be ground up.

How much more degrading does it get? There is no reason why the medical assistance for dentistry should not be adequate enough to cover the basic dental needs of the elderly, disabled and foster children in this system. I am not saying to pay for whitening and cosmetic dentistry. Just take care of the basic needs so that these dependent citizens in our community can eat a decent meal and go to school and learn without pain.

If you think it is not serious, the next time you fix a steak, or even a hot dog, put it in the blender and see just how nasty liquid meat can be. Raw vegetables provide necessary roughage, yet eating a carrot an apple, or even a stalk of celery is not possible without teeth. This is not a recent problem, but one that has existed and been ignored for along time.

As political whips you are always looking to put some teeth in something. How about putting some teeth in the mouths of those who don't have any, and saving the teeth of our children who you have chosen to be responsible for. This is not a minor matter, and it needs to be addressed immediately.

I would appreciate any foster care provider, social worker, and anyone else associated with the system who is having a problem with clients as far as their dental care to contact me at 301-790-0241.

Angie Harsh


What does our delegation bring us?

To the editor:

Our county sends large amounts of tax money to our state each year.

It would be great if your newspaper did a series of investigations to see how much goes to Annapolis and how much we receive back in benefits. This would include such things as the runway extension for our airport.

For the past 12 years have our state senators and delegates been able to bring back money needed for our county to grow? Then we could see which senators or delegates should not return to Annapolis during the state election.

Jacques Hager


Reese didn't look too hard

To the editor:

Let's get the record straight - something Charley Reese is unable to do when it comes to Israel.

He asserts that Israel is the only country that is occupying land claimed by others.

Look again, Charley.

It is a long list: China, Russia, Turkey, Iraq, Spain and France for starters. There are others, but Israel is the only one that has offered statehood.

It offered statehood first in 1948, but the Palestinians rejected the petition which would have given them a large, independent state. Again in 2000 they responded to Israel's offer by launching a new intifada.

Miriam Reisberg

Sandy Hook

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