The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Wall Street Is after Your Children’s Teeth

Jun 18, 2012

Dental management companies descend on public schools in poor and working class areas throughout the country and subject millions of children to dental treatments. Teams of dentists perform baby root canals, fill children’s mouths with steel crowns and subject them to excessive numbers of dental x-rays. Some of these children are as young as four years.

Most often, parents are not asked for their permission for this treatment–for obvious reasons. Most of these children do not need these treatments. An audit by the state of Texas last year found, for example, that 90% of the claims for orthodontic braces by All Smiles Dental Center, a dental management company, were invalid.

In fact, the main purpose of these treatments is simply to claim Medicaid reimbursements. Over the last four years, Medicaid reimbursements for dental care to children have increased by 63%. In Texas, the dental reimbursements tripled to 1.24 billion dollars between 2007 and 2010.

Fueling and profiting from this boom have been Wall-Street-run private equity companies and other rip off artists, including the Carlyle Group and Morgan Stanley. Last year, dentists of Reachout Healthcare America, which is owned by Morgan Stanley, saw 488,000 kids in 8,700 schools.

Wall Street found gold in our kids’ mouths. These vultures targeted our houses before to increase their wealth; now they drill holes in our kids’ teeth.