Sunday, January 22, 2017

Come the Economists

Again come the economists. This time with pets. Simply put, they argue that health care for pets is cheaper than for humans.

The NY Times reports:

“These commonalities made us think that something else may be behind the rapid growth in human health care spending,” said Amy Finkelstein, an M.I.T. economist and one of the authors of a recent study on pet care. She, along with her co-authors Liran Einav and Atul Gupta of Stanford, tried to find what that something else could be in their study on pet health care presented at the American Economic Association annual meeting in Chicago. “We often blame generous insurance and significant public sector involvement, but those are absent from pet care,” Ms. Finkelstein said.
Some health economists say generous health insurance and significant government intervention in the health care market promote unnecessary spending. They note the United States spends more of its G.D.P. on health care than other similar advanced economies yet does not exhibit broadly better health outcomes, a sign of inefficiency. But other economists argue that health care is so valuable that we might reasonably spend even more on it than we do today. Which camp is right?...“It makes you think that the emotional nature of the treatment decision may be important in explaining high and sometimes heroic end-of-life health care spending,” Ms. Finkelstein said, “whether on your dog or on your mother.”....Though you might reasonably avoid pet care insurance, you really can’t do that with human health insurance. Human and pet health care may have some commonalities, but this isn’t one of them.

Well folks the answer is real simple. If your dog or cat is terminally ill you "put it down". Cheap and does not require the excessive costs of hospitalization in final days. We used to let humans stay at home for their final days. But that too has ceased. If your pig or goat or sheep is terminal you may  bring it down and render it, make some money on the carcass. Sorry, but it was an economic decision.

First, animals are not humans. We can legally "put them down". The ACA somewhat thought of that but never implemented it. The close as the got was in doing away with PSA testing, that was acceptable, so instead of biopsies and surgery, you have bone mets and death. After it is just a man. Rover has more dignity!

I wonder if the researchers ever spent time on a farm? I never saw many in Cambridge.