A Blog devoted to progressive politics, environmental issues, LGBT issues, social justice, workers' rights, womens' rights, and, most importantly, Cats.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Pet Insurance for Children!

Barbara Ehrenreich has a new book out -- This Land is Their Land. (Her book Nickel and Dimed was very good.) And I just wanted to share an excerpt of the book review in today's New York Times by Richard Eder:

Often as not the shock comes in an ostensibly bland passage that rears up and stabs. Her subject, for instance, may be the unaffordability of health insurance, but she starts some way out with a professor who asserts that the billions of dollars spent annually on pets’ health is justified because “they are part of the family.” Seeing a locomotive-size opening, she steams through:

“Well, there’s another category that might reasonably be considered ‘part of the family.’ True, they are not the ideal companions for the busy young professional: it can take two to three years to housebreak them, their standards of personal hygiene are lamentably low, at least compared with cats, and large numbers of them cannot learn to ‘sit’ without the aid of Ritalin. I’m talking about children, of course.” Insured medical care for pets comes to $33 a month, she found. So it was plainly time, with the recent veto of a bill extending children’s insurance, to “make pet health insurance available to all American children now!”

Barbara Ehrenreich has her own blog. She writes about regular working folk. You know .... the ones without golden parachutes ... people like you and me.

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At 2:49 PM, Blogger Sungold said...

I love this. I used to teach Nickel and Dimed until the fact that I made sub-Walmart wages at the time started to make me bitter and cranky. (I thought about adding a smiley face there, but dang it, I really *did* get curmudgeonly.)

I think we should give the best care we can afford to all the creatures we love - and that includes both kids and cats. I hate when animals are pitted against children, because that's a false choice. Really, we're faced with tradeoffs between the well-being of living creatures, and the machinery of death (aka militarism).

At 9:40 PM, Blogger Ms. Manitoba said...

Very nicely put. Thank you.

At 10:59 PM, Blogger Henry said...

With assistance turning pages, I am reading this book now. I don't like it as much as Nickel and Dimed, maybe because the people you name to represent your species leave me to wonder about the overall sanity of humans. And this book induces even more horror than N&D.

I am much more agile at the computer than with bound paper, so I decided to follow up on Ms. E's information about your Leader (and his "Congress") authorizing $150 million for "marriage education." I went to Health and Human Services' Web site to follow the trail. And it is indeed true. I decided to see who was getting these grants and looked at the high-dollar ones first. An organization called the Meier Clinics ( received $2 million.

The head of this clinic, Dr. Meier, a psychiatrist, asserts that 90 percent of his clients with "chemical imbalances" can be cured through adherance to scriptural principles. I guess my "owner's" brother, who has been living with bipolar illness for the past 30 years, is not reading his Bible enough (and she says he reads it A LOT).

If you're wondering why your so-called small-government Republicans are interested in spending $150 million on "marriage education", I must tell you I wondered the same thing (apparently, the man and woman who take care of me were able to achieve marriage without any education at all). Apparently, no new funding was required (hurray! said the self-congratulatory Republicans), as a significant amount (I haven't figured out how much yet--but I'm looking into it) was robbed and diverted from the TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) program. So the Republicans want to deprive poor people so they can feed their agenda of homophobia. That's my interpretation of it anyway.

Whew. I'm exhausted. And disgusted.

At 11:20 PM, Blogger Carla said...

Sungold, thank you for your eloquent comment. Our beloved and opinionated Henry (who ranted above) is indeed a member of our family, as are quite a few other four-footed furries. I tried not to take umbrage with BE's pet-versus-child comparison, because she is part-satirist and I get what she was trying to say. Hell, I wish we could get insurance that was affordable as pet insurance and that had benefits of equal caliber. I still give BE a 90 percent approval rating, there being only a few other points in her book I disagreed with.

I do get sick of people complaining about what other people spend on vet care. I choose not to breed, love my nieces and nephews dearly, and prefer sharing our home with cats. That's my business.

At 3:46 PM, Blogger Sungold said...

Hey, it was very big of Henry to let you speak your piece, too, Carla.

Boy, I wish we could *all* get affordable insurance. I've been living off my husband's for most of the last 14 years. Starting this fall, I'll actually have my own again - at age 44. Wow, I feel like an adult!

I totally get what you're saying about vet care and people's snotty comments. I had a cat (or rather, she had me), loved her dearly, and then my husband turned so allergic, we couldn't adopt another after she died. And no, I didn't euthanize her just because she had a little bowel control problem toward the end. Grey Kitty was a fur person and her welfare came first.

Around that time, I gave birth to a couple of kids. Medical care hasn't been optional for *any* of the small creatures in my care. I think the folks who criticize spending money on vet care might more fruitfully scrutinize their own expenditures on jumbo mortgages, SUV payments, etc. - not to mention our society's frequent payments to the death machine.

But now I'm getting into an infinite loop, so can you just tell Henry I love his blog (I've been traveling so haven't kept up with you or *anyone* lately) and give him a treat of his choice? :-) And a nice ear rub from me, too?

At 4:00 PM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

Hey, Carla,

Thank you for not breeding. La Casa de Los Gatos feels strongly about both the need to take care of all the needy (regardless of number of feet, tails or lack thereof, fleas, and et cetera) and also about the fact that the human species is rapidly exceeding the carrying capacity of the planet, thereby driving other species towards extinction.

As for pet and vet care, what can we say? La Casa de Los Gatos has a couple gold-plated felines in residence (well, they ought to be anaconda their care cost so much) and we do not begrudge anyone the rights and responsibilities that come with love. We are not speciesist. Henry, you little devil, we add a few scritchies to Sungold's. You're developing quite a fan club, H.

At 4:07 AM, Blogger Distributorcap said...

it is about finally realizing we have to have universal health care -- this is not about pets vs kids -- it is about taking care of ALL living creatures - that health care is a right, not a luxury.

but as long as the GOP continues to push market forces into the world of health care

oh dont get me started

At 9:19 AM, Blogger Ms. Manitoba said...

It's okay to get started. :-)

Thanks all for your comments. I have kids AND kitties (and goldfish and last week an abondoned finch that fell from a tree) ... I think that we have the capacity to take care of ALL of them. And take care of them well. If we didn't spend so much on freakin' wars and the war machine ...


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