Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Members of Over 71 Million U.S. Households Ignored by Universal Healthcare

/PRNewswire/ -- The following is being issued by PetMedicationCard.com, Inc.:

Here are the facts, most Americans have health care insurance (140 million have either Medicare or Medicaid plus 110 million are in private payer insured plans, which equal 250 million insured), and only 10 million of the estimated 50 million uninsured which have uncovered healthcare claim expenses. Put in terms of percentages, 20% of the 50 million claimants (or 3.25% of the entire population of the United States) don't have health insurance and don't pay their healthcare expenses.

On the other hand, more than 71 million U.S. households have livestock and pets that have no health care plan, no insurance and no prescription drug coverage. These uninsured animals are many times original sources of disease and illnesses such as mad cow disease, aids, swine flu, bird flu and other diseases. To humans these uninsured animals' healthcare is a vital component of maintaining the health of mankind. The case for universal health coverage for livestock animals and pets is therefore a compelling one. Universally covering our livestock animals and pets first would allow the government to work out real savings in healthcare for citizens.

"The primary reason human healthcare costs are so high for the insured population is cost shifting," says Rex Bowden, President of PetMedicationCard.com. "Cost shifting occurs when Medicare, Medicaid and the under-insured shift real costs to the private insured. Put another way, 60% of all medical expenses which are caused by the cost shifting groups are paid based on the federal government's payment schedule (meaning they are paid at less than the actual cost). The discrepancies in these costs are then shifted to the private sector and result in 110 million insured Americans paying their own medical costs and the cost of care not paid by the government's reduced payment schedule for Medicaid and Medicare. The proposed universal healthcare bills on both sides of the aisles will increase costs, increase government controls, shift the cheese to a different group, reduce medical miracles and sadly will not improve healthcare in America." In an example of health care run by governments, the MRI wait time in Canada can be up to 6 months for humans, but if your animal needs a MRI it is scheduled for the same day as ordered.

The 2009 / 2010 National Pet Owners Survey exposes the breadth of the healthcare problem for pets and livestock (and therefore the Americans in contact with them) -- 71.4 million households would have at least one uninsured pet, animal, or livestock. Universal healthcare for these animals would save human consumers money by reducing transmission of animal borne illness. It is estimated humans currently spend $12.2 billion annually on pet vet expenditures (according to the American Pet Products Association). By implementing some of the proposed cost savings ideas proposed for humans on animals many of these expenses could be reduced thereby reducing the source of illness and the associated costs.

One of the proposed ideas for humans for cost saving mandated by the federal government is to get end of life savings reductions by counseling people not to go through the all out life saving methods and expenses when humans lives are coming to an end. This is called euthanasia in the animal kingdom, and instant death administered by the veterinarians which has saved pet owners and all livestock owners money. However, this methodology has also shortened the lives of many animals and pets. The case for universal healthcare for these animals is that with universal coverage, the quality of that life would have been better, and they would have lived longer healthier lives.

"Universal coverage would allow for better preventative care," says Bowden. "We think about good health practices such as keeping our blood pressure in check when it comes to ourselves, but we owe it to our pets and livestock to keep them healthy as well. Sometimes pet medications just aren't affordable. Would we place our kids or our parents to the curb for getting sick? Unlikely, but that's exactly what happens to sick pets when their owners can't afford to get them the medications they need -- or worse.

The CDC's National Center for Infectious Diseases gives Americans reason to visit www.PetMedicationCard.com. In "Healthy Pets Healthy People, they remind citizens that even an innocent-looking favorite pig, chicken, cow and even my cat can carry the plague. Unlikely," says Bowden, "but sometimes a little bit of reality-based fear is exactly what people need to realize the dangers of doing nothing. By not thinking about healthcare costs for the millions of pets out there, people are potentially putting themselves at risk for minor to serious conditions, disease and infections -- and isn't prevention a priority in cutting our own healthcare costs?"

Americans can start protecting their pets immediately with a free pet medication card from www.PetMedicationCard.com. The free card can be printed from the website after filling out a short form, and is eligible at more than 52,000 pharmacies nationwide. With savings as high as 75% on retail prices of prescription pet medications, Americans may wonder exactly what Washington is waiting for when their pets can get better, and cheaper, coverage than themselves. Or they can stop wondering and use the free card for their own (human) prescription drugs as well, saving an average of 40% without enrolling in any complicated or costly programs.

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