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Helping Fido meet his health-care needs

Jane Stebbins

As a member of the human race, I have never felt so second-class.

Well, other than the fact I’m a woman, and therefore earn a whopping 76 cents for every dollar a man earns – that has a way of making someone feel a tad inferior. And other than the fact our dryer broke last summer, forcing us to hang our undergarments in the trees. That will do it, too. Or the time when I was denied a VISA card and resubmitted the application with a minor change – the revision indicated I was male – and received a card in the mail two weeks later. Of course, that was back in the dark ages of 1985 …

OK, so maybe I have felt like a second-class citizen before.

But today’s news just amazes me.

We’ve had a major societal shift here, folks, and those of you without pets should sit up straight and take note. If a certain special interest group in the United States has its way, you will soon see a little change on your paystub. Right there, next to deductions for FICA, Social Security, state income taxes, Arbor Day and your HMO du jour, will be another deduction, this one for your loyal pup.

This special interest group – whose name conveniently escapes me – is lobbying for universal health care coverage for pets. What that means in layman’s terms is: Your tax dollars will help pets throughout the nation live happy, healthy lives.

“Pets are an important part of our lives,” said a special interest group spokeswoman. “We should protect what’s important to us.”

I’m all for healthy, happy pets, especially considering I have two old cats who spend more time with our vet than with us.

But what about the rest of us? What about the people in this nation? There are hungry people on the streets of every big city in the United States. There are people who can’t get the physical and mental health care they need. Insurance companies will pay for liposuction, but not for shots for people with multiple sclerosis.

Women abandon their newborns in trash bins. A Denver woman recently left her son at a child care center in Denver and never showed up to retrieve him. The child care folks called the boy’s relatives to see if they would come pick him up, and they, too, said no.

And there’s the report of a woman in Enid, Okla., who recently traded her newborn for a Chihuahua. Anyone who’s ever bartered for anything before knows she could have gotten a golden retriever! Haha! Just kidding!

But remember, “Pets are an important part of our lives.”

As a person of deductive reasoning, meaning sometimes I can put two and two together and get four, I feel this trend of child abandonment and trading them for dogs – if a Chihuahua can even be classified as a mammal – must mean we’ve had a major priority shift in our society.

But Americans are speaking – and they are speaking to the most influential, gullible people in the nation: Our Elected Officials! These are the people who, in college, were voted “Still Most Likely to Become a Used Car Salesman!” These people have a track record of approving things like “campaign finance reform,” classifying hemp as a narcotic and installing photo radar.

There are other things in life more important to some people, like … Harley Davidsons. Just let Fido knock over a row of Harleys outside a biker bar and you’ll see how much these things are valued by their owners. You might even need a little universal health care coverage of your own.

But no worries; Fido’s surgery will be covered.

Jane Stebbins can be reached at 668-3998 ext. 228 or jstebbins@summitdaily.com.


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