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Pets Need Health Care Too!

I was a little guy when I got ringworm! Luckily, it was easy to clear up. I just don’t like going to the vet.

When I was a kitten, I had the bad luck to catch ringworm and pass it on to my human. She handled it about as well as could be expected, mostly meaning that she took me to the local vet instead of dumping in me in a ditch a few miles from home. I mean, I have days where I get ill and it sort of stinks when my human has to spend money on vet bills instead of new catnip toys. Even with pet insurance, there is usually a copay.

You know the best thing about vets is that they don’t request unnecessary blood tests or extra scans. The worst part – and the entire reason that I hate visits to the vet – is that they can and will shove a rod up my butt to “take my temperature”. Long story short, I’m well now, happy that I don’t have to go to the vet today, and just about to dig into another can of wet food – the Fancy Feast Medleys brand, my favorite.

The problem with dealing with pets’ health is that it can be expensive, according to what I heard my human talking about on the phone with her dad. Dealing with the ringworm can cost a couple of hundred bucks. If my person has to have surgery on her leg or something, it can be extremely expensive at almost $100,000. If the humans are lucky enough to have insurance, it can still come out to close to $30,000 in out-of-pocket expenses.

Grumpy Cat was famous enough to have her own Christmas special! Unfortunately, most cats aren’t so lucky.

Cats like Tardar Sauce and Lil Bub were lucky enough to be Internet celebrities and help their humans with unexpected expenses through merchandising fees. Most cats aren’t that lucky and might wind up in the local animal shelter if their humans can’t afford to keep them anymore just because they hurt their leg.

It made me wonder, why does it cost so much to get good medical care for both pets and people even though they may have insurance that covers most of it. I mean, isn’t that the reason people take out insurance, to be covered and not have such large bills?

So strange, her friends from the UK said they hadn’t had any large payments such as those. They have something called a national health insurance fund. Their government manages everything from drug costs to administrative negotiations keeping costs down.

And while we contribute 17.9% of our GDP towards healthcare, there is still a considerable challenge for American citizens.

Some people who work in health care that my human talked to said that that the most significant chunk is the admin costs at the hospitals. Most hospitals have to hire small armies of clerks to keep up with the paperwork required by regulators, Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance companies. This cost is alarming when we consider that some hospitals have more billing staff than actual patients.

Advanced drugs and technology don’t come cheap. The pharmaceutical companies will often plead research and development costs, but that probably isn’t the entire reason that spiking drug costs have been making the news lately. Maybe it’s just because I’m a cat, but it seems weird to me that the price of a drug can rise from $13.50 per capsule to $750 a capsule with no explanation. It’s like they don’t realize that it’s bad for business if their customers start dying because they can’t buy the product.

To add to this, doctors are often afraid that they will get sued for malpractice if they miss somebody’s cancer or heart condition, so they ask for more and more tests while patients have to foot the bill. Even then, it’s not unheard-of for doctors to miss something that should have been obvious, which means that their patients wind up having to undergo more complex procedures that cost way more than they would have if their health conditions had been caught early.

The more I think about it with my feline senses; I’m prone to believe we’d be better off with similar models like Europe and Japan. Citizens contribute towards national healthcare insurance according to what they earn.

Or perhaps, I’m having a cat rant and acting superior because pet insurance is often better than human health insurance, IDK. Maybe I should just dig into this wet food and not worry about it so much.

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