Dog Health Care vs. Human Care

My six-month old Siberian Husky, Jack (click here for picture), recently had some health problems. Namely, He swallowed a hackeysack, one of those little bean-filled balls that kids kick around. After two trips to the vet and severy tests, the situation was resolved and the hackeysack removed.
But, the situation got me to thinking about health care and the ways in which human health care differs from veterinary care. First and foremost, Jack was “uninsured.” I’m not sure about the number of “uninsured pets,” in this country, but I am pretty sure that it is a national crisis of epic proportions and that some government solution is necessary.
Anyway, because Jack had no insurance, his bills were all paidout of pocket and upon completion of his treatment by me and my fiancee. To say the least, this is not common practice when it comes to human health care. In fact, a friend of mine was treated for a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Albuquerque and, after repeated requests for an itemized bill, the hospital simply refused to provide one.
It would seem obvious to me that if you don’t provide consumers any information about their health care costs and the tradeoffs they create, you will continue to have costs spiral out of control. Perhaps we can take a lesson from the vet…now if I could only get Jack a Health Savings Account!

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