Thursday, September 3, 2009

Keillor calls for public pet option

You know, maybe we've been taking the wrong approach to health care reform. Maybe we should be thinking outside the box. This is a direct lift from Salon:

Americans spend upward of $10 billion a year on health care for pets, Garrison Keillor says, and nobody thinks twice about it. Moreover, conversations about pet health bring out the kind of empathy that has been entirely absent from the national discussion about health care. There are 48 million uninsured Americans, Keillor says, but they don't quite pull at the heartstrings the way pets do. So, "perhaps there should be a public pet option." A public pet option would generate the sympathy that's been missing from the debate, and it would be impossible for Republicans to fight. "It's one thing to oppose big government taking over from those little mom-and-pop insurance companies, but do you favor throwing Mr. Mittens out the car window when he gets old and feeble and needs an IV because he can't chew his kibble?" Animals bring out the best in people, Keillor concludes. Uninsured people don't.
Read original story in Salon, Wednesday 2, 2009.


Ken Martin said...

Amazing, isn't it? But I believe it's true that people care more about pets than other people. In 11-1/2 years of publishing The Good Life magazine before it flamed out in January, the most response I ever got on a feature story was the one I wrote on "Dogs and Cats on Death Row," which covered the problems of pet overpopulation in the Austin area. It dealt with Town Lake Animal Center, the Austin Humane Society, Animal Trustees of Austin and animal rescue groups. It really hit a nerve. People were stopping me in the street, stopping to chat at the coffee shop, and on and on. We *never* got that kind of engagement with stories about problems for humans (e.g., sexual abuse, domestic violence).

Anonymous said...

Pets do not get subsidy from anyone except their owners.I do not believe that people care more about pets than humans, but each to their own opinion. However, who wants to pay for someone who has children out of wedlock, gets high on drugs with government supplied welfare money to get a facelift? I seldom engage in political bantering, because I am less educated and out of touch with correctness than other readers on this blog, but I understand how someone who has a birth defect and no money can get the best treatment available, because of the kindness of caring people.

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