As a dentist serving diverse communities on Chicago’s South and Near West sides for more than 30 years, I am deeply concerned about a critical issue that has dramatically affected the health outcomes of my patients for many decades. That issue is dental insurance.
Despite paying increasing dental insurance premiums, my patients experience frustration as their dental benefits diminish over time. They’re concerned about understanding their dental plans and navigating the bureaucracy of insurance.
Sporadic and limited benefits often do not adequately cover necessary treatments, and patients can lose access to their preferred providers. As a result, my patients are regularly denied coverage of the most basic services, and even the most diligent dental patients worry about how to coordinate their benefits and the benefits for their families.
We believe patient dollars should go to patient care, not to the profits of big dental insurance companies, which is why we are advocating that at least 80% of patient premiums go to patient care, while also putting an end to sneaky and unfair tactics insurance companies use to gain more revenue streams at the expense of dental care.
I have seen fathers and mothers delay their own treatment so that their children can receive dental care, and some families must even prioritize which of their children receives basic dental treatment. It’s clear that the current system is not working, and we need action to address these challenges.
That’s why members of the Illinois State Dental Society are urging lawmakers to support critical dental insurance reform currently being considered in Springfield and to help ensure our patients have access to the dental care they need.
We dental professionals are dedicated to ensuring the well-being of our patients, and we serve them by helping them receive the best possible care and value from their dental insurance plans. Together, we can create a system that prioritizes the health and well-being of our communities.
— Dr. Lawrence A. White, Chicago
I read with interest (and distress) Greg Richmond’s op-ed on Feb. 19, “Changes in grading, homework turning education upside down.” Other than the dumbing down of American education as a result of these policies, which will make our students less prepared to succeed in the increasingly competitive global economy, two questions occurred to me.
First, in a country where we are reluctant to differentiate the slightest achievements of our students, are we becoming a dystopian version of Garrison Keillor’s fictional Lake Wobegon, where all of the children achieve the statistical impossibility of “above average”? And second, do the administrators in the schools that are eliminating grading intend to stop keeping score at their schools’ athletic events?
— Bruce Lichtcsien, Northbrook
I spent nearly my entire life in Catholic schools and have parents who have more than 70 years of public school teaching experience between them, and I know the importance of both. That’s why I was so disappointed to see Greg Richmond’s recent op-ed in the Tribune.
There is no doubt that education is evolving, but the most important part of an education isn’t grades: It’s learning. And the best learning will be done if private and public institutions work together.
The overarching question is: Are Catholic institutions going to be complicit in one political party’s plan to destroy fundamental building blocks of our country in order to save Catholic schools? More and more, the answer has been yes. And that’s a devil’s bargain.
— Jason L. Miller, Washington, D.C.
Regarding Greg Richmond’s op-ed: Some educators and parents wish to abolish grading and homework, period. In the 1940s and 1950s, I attended public schools K-12 on the North Side of Chicago. The education I received was excellent; I was taught by dedicated and compassionate teachers. With a solid education, many graduates were well prepared to attend college. For those who joined the labor force after graduating, they were also prepared to fulfill their challenges.
It was, and still is, impossible to grasp a thorough understanding of a subject solely by what is presented in the classroom. Further studying, I.e., homework, is necessary to gain a more complete knowledge of a subject.
Today, when students come home, what activities are they involved in? Spending time on smartphones, tablets and computers! I would like to know how involvement with that technology enhances their educational pursuits.
Back in the day, there were report cards with four grades — E for excellent, G for good, F for fair, and U for unsatisfactory. Receiving lower-level grades did not make us feel abused or discouraged, but it incentivized us to strive harder.
This current trend in education reminds me of children involved in sports activities: Everybody gets a trophy, even when they’re on the losing team!
— Sam Solomon, Deerfield
Vice President Kamala Harris recently declared that Russia has committed crimes against humanity and insisted that the perpetrators must face justice. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has warned the Chinese that the balloon incident must never happen again.
Undoubtedly, Russian and Chinese leaders are quaking in their boots as the United States pursues a revised version of Teddy Roosevelt’s Big Stick diplomacy: “Squeak loudly and … “?
— Animesh Ghoshal, Des Plaines
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February 27, 2023 at 07:12PM