Tag: health care
Disabled vets and homeless pets would be brought together for the mutual benefit of both under legislation recently passed by the House and now headed to the Senate.
The legislation would create a pilot program that trains shelter dogs to provide therapy to help treat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other war-related mental health conditions.
The House unanimously passed a package of veterans’ health care legislation that included the Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act, introduced by Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y.
“As a veteran, and an American, I am thrilled that this legislation has passed the House, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to pass it without delay, so that it can be signed into law and allow us to begin providing assistance to our returning veterans,” said Grimm, a Marine combat veteran from Operation Desert Storm.
The many potential benefits of the program were outlined by Michael Markarian on his Humane Society Legislative Fund blog, Political Animal:
“For wounded warriors and disabled veterans, caring for a pet can help them re-enter society and minimize stress and depression. Service dogs can also reduce the suicide rate among veterans, and provide other critical help—such as letting them know when it’s time to take medication, waking them from terrifying nightmares, or detecting changes in their breathing, perspiration, or scent to ward off panic attacks. Such benefits can decrease the number of hospitalizations, and lower the cost of medications and human care…”
“Our veterans need and deserve every opportunity to heal. This innovative legislation gives the wonderful dogs in shelters a chance to live and to serve by helping to heal the stresses and wounds so many soldiers battle when they come home.”
The bill would establish a pilot program in VA medical centers for educating veterans with mental health conditions in the art and science of assistance dog training and handling. It directs the secretary of Veterans Affairs to “consider dogs residing in animal shelters or foster homes for participation in the program.”
The Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act — one of six bills combined into a larger veteran’s health care bill — was the first Rep. Grimm introduced as a member of Congress, and his first bill to pass the House, according to a press release from his office.
(Photo: Courtesy of the office of U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 17th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal shelters, animals, bill, congress, disabilities, disabled, dogs, health care, house, michael grimm, new york, pets, pilot, post traumatic stress disorder, program, ptsd, representative, shelter, therapy, therapy dogs, veterans, veterans dog training therapy act, war
The pros and cons of pet health insurance were examined on NPR’s “Planet Money” yesterday.
Reporter David Kestenbaum interviewed veterinarians, insurance providers, an economist and pet owners — including one whose hedgehog, Harriet, recently needed a cancerous lump removed. Fortunately, she was covered.
“Pet health care is now crossing the same magic threshold that human health care crossed decades ago: It’s getting good, and it’s getting expensive,” Kestenbaum reported. “Veterinary bills are becoming large enough that people are starting to think it would be nice to have someone else pay for them — like an insurer.”
The business is growing rapidly, at a pace of 15 or 20 percent a year, according to the report.
“It’s an open question whether pet health care will also mimic the problems of human care, with costs that keep climbing and lots of waste. The problem with insurance, economists say, is that it separates people from the money they’re spending. Why not get that extra medical test, if it’s covered by insurance?”
You can read or listen to the report here.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 22nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cats, coverage, dogs, health, health care, health insurance, insurance, medical, npr, pet, pets, planet money, veterinary
A British physician, writing in the Wall Street Journal, says, all in all, dogs may be privy to a better health care system than humans — at least in his part of the world.
“In the last few years, I have had the opportunity to compare the human and veterinary health services of Great Britain, and on the whole it is better to be a dog,” Theodore Dalrymple, a pen name for British physician Anthony Daniels.
“As a British dog, you get to choose (through an intermediary, I admit) your veterinarian. If you don’t like him, you can pick up your leash and go elsewhere, that very day if necessary. Any vet will see you straight away, there is no delay in such investigations as you may need, and treatment is immediate. There are no waiting lists for dogs, no operations postponed because something more important has come up, no appalling stories of dogs being made to wait for years because other dogs — or hamsters — come first.
“The conditions in which you receive your treatment are much more pleasant than British humans have to endure. For one thing, there is no bureaucracy to be negotiated with the skill of a white-water canoeist; above all, the atmosphere is different … In the waiting rooms, a perfect calm reigns; the patients’ relatives are not on the verge of hysteria, and do not suspect that the system is cheating their loved one, for economic reasons, of the treatment which he needs. The relatives are united by their concern for the welfare of each other’s loved one. They are not terrified that someone is getting more out of the system than they.”
The only drawback to the superior care British dogs receive is they, or their owners, generally have to pay for it.
Still, even for those dogs, and owners, without means, there is the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, or PDSA, which serves as a safety net, providing free veterinary services for the poor.
The PDSA, he says, more closely resembles the National Health Service for British humans. “There is no denying that the PDSA is not as pleasant as private veterinary services; but even the most ferocious opponents of the National Health Service have not alleged that it fails to be better than nothing.”
The rest of other comparisons and conclusions can be found here.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 10th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: britain, british, care, debate, dogs, health, health care, humans, insurance, medical, medicine, national health service, pdsa, people's dispensary for sick animals, physician, services, socialized, systems, theodore dalrymple, treatment, veterinarians, veterinary
If you are among those wondering about the news media’s preoccupation with the Obama’s dog choice — amid all the other serious problems our country is facing — join the club.
Also count among its members one Julianne Hancock, a member of the Utah Air National Guard who has served a tour of duty in Iraq. When she got back, she got a dog from a shelter, a mutt named Izzy.
A steady job, though, was not so easy to find. After losing her civilian job in the commercial lending industry earlier this year, she was having trouble finding new work. She couldn’t afford healthcare. With few other options, she signed up for another tour of duty. She leaves in January.
“I heard Mr. Obama tell Malia and Sasha that they earned their puppy on election night,” Hancock wrote in an open letter to Obama posted on The Daily Kos. “Izzy will be looking for a family. Any interest?”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 13th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, barack obama, daily kos, dogs, economy, health care, health insurance, iraq, izzy, joblessness, jobs, julianne hancock, mutt, national guard, obama, open letter, president, rescue, tour of duty, war