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Mother is charged with felony for neglecting her daughter's teeth.
Staff report Sarasota Herald Tribune
Published: Friday, May 8, 2009 at 1:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, May 8, 2009 at 12:57 a.m.
MANATEE COUNTY - Police say a Palmetto mother neglected to provide her child with needed dental care, which led to severe tooth decay.
Click to enlarge Tamika S. White, 19
Tamika S. White, 19, was arrested Wednesday on a felony neglect charge.
Her daughter, whose age was not listed, has suffered from tooth pain for more than a year, according to a Palmetto Police Department report.
The child's grandmother urged White to take the child to the dentist.
White took the child to a dentist who told her the child had bottle mouth -- tooth decay common in infants and toddlers, the report said.
But White's Medicaid coverage would not pay for the treatment, and she refused to seek money for treatment through child-support payments from the child's father, police said.
She also did not seek another specialist who would accept Medicaid or any other treatments that would be covered, according to a report.
White was in the Manatee County jail on Thursday without bail.
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- NYSCOF says...
May 8, 2009 2:19:41 am
If what this Mom did is a crime, then all dentists who refuse to treat Medicaid patients should be sitting right next to her.
However, organized dentistry is too rich and politically powerful to allow that to happen.
Instead of addressing the incredible neglect by the dental profession to provide services for low-income Americans, the "system" has chosen to punish the victim. Disgusting.
- jmsbeauchamp says...
May 8, 2009 2:57:35 am
Another magnificent triumph for Florida's criminal justice system. What's next in the offing? Debtors prison?
Talk about blaming the victim: dentists don't take Medicaid. What a heinous double-bind in which to put a struggling parent. Not only can't she get her kid dental care, she gets thrown into jail. Perhaps DCF will fix the kid's teeth.
Are we to be privileged to know the name of the selfless dentist involved? Dr. Denunziant, perhaps?
Just a rhetorical question. It is the Herald.
- Perplexed says...
May 8, 2009 4:37:15 am
Welcome to the feudal state of PHLORIDA! ....Debtors prison could be next....oh wait...have you ever REALLY examined Florida law?Take a look at how the land owner is protected above all else, especially, *GASP*...renters...This is truly becoming a banana republic.
- digibella says...
May 8, 2009 5:57:53 am
How is this a crime!? Dentist do NOT take medicaid and where was she supposed to get care? Its not free! Americans have the worst dental health and it is affecting our physical health, even those with dental insurance can't get any work done with $1000.00 annual limits that would barely cover work on one tooth!
Dentures with two bottom implants about $18,000.00! What a crock!!
- Blondieshome says...
May 8, 2009 6:56:14 am
Dental work is way too expensive. A lot of work isn't even covered by insurance. My insurance pays $1500 a year of reasonable charges. Now that's an oximoron.
- sunnyside says...
May 8, 2009 7:01:01 am
For her to be charged with this as a crime is wrong. Of course she knew her son needed dental work, affording it is another thing.. what should be more important.. food and shelter for her baby, or great dentistry. Why does not an agency cover this and assist mothers like her instead of putting them in jail? She needed help, and either did not know where to go for the help, or if this type of help is available.
- srqcircus says...
May 8, 2009 7:20:17 am
Exactly what is your take on the renters law?
(Land owner vs. renter)
- thebrockobitch says...
May 8, 2009 11:44:44 am
The state probably wouldn't help her get child support. However, the local health department and clinics do provide medical and limited dental care on a sliding scale based on income. DCF should have helped her obtain care for her child. They have separated the mother and child and now she will have to deal with a quagmire of legal fees, classes, fines and probation (or parole) fees. That does not help the situation.If she goes to prison for felony child neglect the state will have to pay for her child's care. It would have been easier for DCF to provide a referral and less for taxpayer's pockets if they had assisted her and followed up to ensure her child's welfare.
- Cindy528e says...
May 8, 2009 1:13:43 pm
How about the losers who have children they can't afford? Birth control has come a long way, learn how to use it. People like this woman should have their children taken away from them to begin with.
- cindy.delong says...
May 8, 2009 1:53:38 pm
What was this poor young mother suppose to do? If she was getting medical assistance from the state then they should have noticed the problem and offered her help. But then again if the baby had bottle mouth sounds like she was not properly cleaning the baby bottles. After all she is a young mother.
from Sarasota Herald Tribune