My cat, a ten year old orange tabby, has been sick for some weeks. He lost a lot of weight and never gained it back and finally just stopped doing anything. He was skin and bone when I finally put him in his carrier and took him to the vet yesterday, unable to fool myself any longer that he was not seriously ill. Yes, I put all of this on my shoulders for not running him to the vet the moment he lost ten pounds and could not stop hacking up. I've made my cat suffer and it makes me ill thinking that I denied reality so that I could inhabit my own comfort zone. It's a sin I'll flog myself for more than anyone else could.
Recently, I read an article and saw a news story on how competition in veterinary medicine keeps costs down and care above standard. The reporters in both types of media asked the question, why? Why does veterinary care cost less and why is the quality of care better than that for humans?
The answer is stupidly simple. Competition. There are many, many vets who run their own hospitals for their patients. Thus, they must provide quality care at a lower cost to make their practices profitable. In other words, they make their money the old fashioned way, they earn it. They don't go whining to Washington, D.C. because they chose to open their practice in an area already deluged with other vets and now want to punish those other vets so they can loot their patients.
When you have many other players playing your game in a small area, you have to become the best at that game to keep winning. You don't do it by whining, pissing and moaning about how much better the other guys are, you go out there and do the best damned job there is. When you keep the quality of care above the other guys and charge a reasonable price for your services, you will have a successful practice. Period. This has been proven time and again. Looting and crying about how you have to be given special concessions and privileges for being bad has a very unproven track record.
Now, if we did away with health insurance... stop your crying NOW! Stop it. If we did away with health insurance it would force hospitals to lower their costs, so that you are no longer paying $400 for a Tylenol. The explosive prices charged by hospitals are not because they are greedy assholes, it's because they have to make up the cost of non-paying patients and ruinous agreements with PPOs and HMOs. If doctors had to really compete for your health care dollar, trust me, it would not cost you $90 for a ten minute visit.
If we did away with Medicare... SHUT IT! This would make prescription drugs and the cost of health care for the elderly to come down exponentially. Think about it for a minute and really try to understand competition. Then think about gas prices at the 1000 corner stores around your neighborhood. Stop being a baby and do it!
My cat will probably get better care at his vet than I would if I went to one our local hospitals for care. What's more, even with insurance, I will pay less for his care than I would for mine. Yes, even with worse care.