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Fixing a Painful Reality for the Working Poor - Lack of Dental Care

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.

A few weeks ago a courteous 20 something young man knocked on my door and asked if I had any yard work he could do to earn money.   My garden needed to be made ready for spring, so we agreed on the task, and he set to work with lots of energy and care. An hour or so later I found him sitting on the ground holding his jaw with tears in his eyes. He had a suddenly developed a tooth ache. My heart went out to him.

I offered to drive him to his dentist. "Cannot afford one”, he said.   I told him I would try to contact the local public health clinic. I called and was told in most counties the public health department does not have…

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Thinking Futuristically About Jobs

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.

I am a big believer in the oath taken when sworn in to testify in court. It defines truth: "The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth". It rules out half truths, exaggeration, and downright lies. Pursuit of the truth is foundational to our democratic society. 

Too bad we don't use the same oath when we talk about creating jobs.

You cannot open a paper or go to a party or meeting without someone talking with squishy facts about "job creation", or "jobs lost to regulations", or "jobs leaving the country". But not all jobs are the same - a fact often left out of the discussion.

Additionally, we usually discuss jobs by talking about their absence - unemployment.&nbs…

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How we can More Effectively Love on our Hospitalized Friends and Save Money

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D. 

Imagine your car broke and towed to the shop. The mechanics listened, poked, and prodded, and explained what your choices were, and the costs. You choose one, and agree to leave the car for repair.

In a day or so, you go get the car, and are assured everything is fine now. After handing over your credit card (Ouch - that much?), you get the keys and drive off.

Several days later the car breaks again - in roughly the same place under the hood. Call the tow truck, and wind up back in the shop again. "Sorry", they say, "these things happen".

"Wasn't exactly the same problem, just close to the one we fixed - can we have your credit car…

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A Huge Opportunity to Birth Healthy Children and Lower Future Health Care Costs

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D. 

Each year in the United States around 6 million women conceive.[1] Around a million deliberately abort the pregnancy.[2][3] Another million or so miscarry.[4] Approximately four million children are born[5], and a shocking and rising number of those have birth defects.

The exact number of children with birth defects is hard to nail down.[6][7] 

America does not have a standard definition of what a birth defect is.viii Some states count defects only visible at birth, like cleft palate. Some states count only those defects that were visible and corrective action was taken. Other systems include in their birth defects cou…

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 Broken Brains Can Have a Brighter Future

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.

In the early days of America, communities used to burn alive people with broken brains just for saying unusual or unpopular things.  They called these sick people "witches," and those people died terrible deaths at the hands of their neighbors because they had a brain that was not working correctly.

Three hundred years later, we have made progress - we no longer burn people whose brains are not working correctly. We just let them live under bridges, or thank them for their military service while underfunding their care, or consider it bad manners to talk to a parent when we pick up on troubling signals coming off their child.

We have moved away from thinking of…

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