Glad to read this. Mr. Pete and I both have our wisdom teeth and haven't had any problems with them. Calvin has opted to keep his as well, yet we know many young friends who just routinely are told to have theirs pulled - and so they do. I think in some ways it has become like circumcision - something that is just routinely done even if there isn't really a need for it. But also just like circumcision maybe it's something we need to revisit and only do if medically necessary.
In October, delegates to the group's national meeting approved a measure calling for more research into when and why wisdom teeth are pulled and an end to routine removal of what dentists call third molars. Backers argue implementation would reduce unnecessary surgeries, saving billions of dollars and saving tens of thousands of patients from surgical injury.
Friedman contends that about two-thirds of wisdom teeth extractions in the U.S. today are unnecessary.
Unfortunately for Democrats, that seven-hour televised exercise had the unintended consequence of showing the Republicans to be not only highly informed on the subject, but also, as even Obama was forced to admit, possessed of principled objections -- contradicting the ubiquitous Democratic/media meme that Republican opposition was nothing but nihilistic partisanship.
Republicans did so well, in fact, that in his summation, Obama was reduced to suggesting that his health-care reform was indeed popular because when you ask people about individual items (for example, eliminating exclusions for preexisting conditions or capping individual out-of-pocket payments), they are in favor.
Yet mystifyingly they oppose the whole package. How can that be?
Allow me to demystify. Imagine a bill granting every American a free federally delivered ice cream every Sunday morning. Provision 2: steak on Monday, also home delivered. Provision 3: a dozen red roses every Tuesday. You get the idea. Would each individual provision be popular in the polls? Of course.
However (life is a vale of howevers) suppose these provisions were bundled into a bill that also spelled out how the goodies are to be paid for and managed -- say, half a trillion dollars in new taxes, half a trillion in Medicare cuts (cuts not to keep Medicare solvent but to pay for the ice cream, steak and flowers), 118 new boards and commissions to administer the bounty-giving, and government regulation dictating, for example, how your steak is to be cooked. How do you think this would poll?
Which is what drove even strong Obama supporter Warren Buffett to go public with his judgment that the current Senate bill, while better than nothing, is a failure because the country desperately needs to bend the cost curve down, and the bill doesn't do it. Buffett's advice would be to start over and get it right with a bill that says "we're just going to focus on costs and we're not going to dream up 2,000 pages of other things." (Disclosure: Buffett is a director of The Washington Post Co.)
Obama has chosen differently, however. The time for debate is over, declared the nation's seminar leader in chief. The man who vowed to undo Washington's devious and wicked ways has directed the Congress to ram Obamacare through, by one vote if necessary, under the parliamentary device of "budget reconciliation." The man who ran as a post-partisan is determined to remake a sixth of the U.S. economy despite the absence of support from a single Republican in either house, the first time anything of this size and scope has been enacted by pure party-line vote.