Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Thoughts about veterinarian care vs health care

Yes, there are interesting economic parallels to both expenditures, but that d@#n wiener dog's days are numbered.

I saw this interesting graph at The Enterprise Blog. Andrew Biggs makes a couple of comments which are doubly insightful:
Two things are interesting here: first, the rate of growth of spending from 1984 to 2006 wasn’t all that different—and in both cases, spending grew faster than the rate of economic growth. As new technologies are developed for humans, we adopt them for Bowser and Fifi—because we can afford to and we think it’s worth it. [...] Second, the level of spending was very, very different: we spend hundreds of times more on ourselves than on our pets. The main reason for this is obvious: we value our own lives and those of our families more than we do our pets or other animals. At the same time, however, veterinary care is one of the few areas of health where we are directly confronted with difficult decisions regarding the costs and benefits of additional treatments.
Well, I can afford that my WIFE'S Wiener dog get the once-a-year shots, but that doesn't mean I WANT to. (Public notice: I don't OWN a Wiener dog; I merely live with one.) Biggs claims about difficult decisions with pets only applies to the amount of subjective value I'd impute on the pet (which ain't much).

For example, suppose that this dog of seven years suddenly takes sick with an illness. I could expend around $50 having her put to sleep, or I could borrow a friend's 12-gauge shotgun, take a short drive, to a secluded area, and for the price of one, maybe even two shells (for both barrels to assure a merciful efficiency), produce the same outcome--a dead dog. Now the cost of paying the vet to do it would be much better for my wife, but for me, it's not that big a deal. Having shot animals in past hunting trips, there would be not a millisecond of suffering on the Wiener dog's part--believe it. In fact, there would be LESS suffering, since the doofy Wiener dog would always be with her recognized pack-mates. (And not "family" which would be WAY wrongly conceived.) So for the average cost of two new factory-loaded 12 Gauge Shotgun shells i.e., 50 cents total), and about 2 miles of gas (at $2.21 in today's prices in Oklahoma, i.e., 20 cents total for the round trip), I can off the Wiener dog. That's over 50 times cheaper. I should start a blackmarket business.[1]

And then, of course, it would be my turn to get a cat!



[image] Andrew Biggs "A Dog in the Healthcare Fight" The Enterprise Blog July 13, 2009. (Accessed July 30, 2009)

[1] I have a close friend who at one timed lived with a cat, and with equal disdain for the animal. Upon heading out to vacation, his wife warned him that if, per chance, that cat would suddenly disappear while they were all gone, even if I were likewise gone, she would place the blame fully on him for plotting thru me to have the cat terminated. (Luckily, the cat disappeared after I was gone to Hawaii and before my return. I purported a theory from known problems.) Besides, I might have ethical qualms about killing a cat.

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