Sunday, August 9, 2015

Personal Responsibility

I ran into  local one of my reader yesterday.  She is a liberal (lower case "l").  She shared one of those delightful snippets of unedited thought.

She said, "You are a puzzle.  I don't understand how you can be a conservative.  Every once in a while you say something intelligent."  Then, hearing how that came out, she back-pedaled.

I had to laugh.  You have to have a sense of humor about these things.  It was funny because her thoughts mirrored mine.  I have much respect for many liberals as individuals but think somewhat less of "liberals" in the abstract.

I think her perception of "conservatives" is that we are "cheap" to the point of being borderline "mean".  I told her, "To me, being a conservative is a matter of 'personal responsibility'".

Yesterday was not a fun day for "Personal Responsibility"

Hercules, one of my German Shepherds bit and bit Sookie, the neighbor's Jack Russel terrier.

The Right Thing To Do was to ride with them to the vet and wait two hours....then pay the bill.

Sookie is a rescue dog and very skittish.  Getting bit in the butt by a German Shepherd is not going to help that.

Vet care

My perception is that Vet care has increased in price.  The front desk now has placarding with various methods of veterinary care financing (i.e., credit).  It is difficult to separate whether access to credit for vet care is a response to increasing cost or a driver.

Another subplot is insurance.  I had one neighbor tell me, in a different incident with a different dog, that home owners insurance would cover those costs.  She was of the mind that insurance is a financial resource to be milked.  My perception is that my insurance carrier would simply raise my rates.  They would recoup that outlay many, many times over.  And is that really any different than a credit card that you can never pay off?

I pay these costs out-of-pocket (actually, I use my credit card because I do not keep that much money in my checking account).  Involving an insurance company only adds cost.  Every dollar dispersed from an insurance company must carry the "over head" on both the dispersing and billing ends of the transaction.  That is not a trivial burden.  Before Obamacare, the average billing costs, per medical doctor (for humans) was $68,000.  Essentially, every doctor in practice necessitates the employment of one billing specialist.  And that does not include any of the costs on the dispersal end.

Another cost driver is that diagnostic imaging equipment has trickled down to small vet clinics.  I guess the manufacturers of this equipment saturated the human medicine side and are now loading up the vet clinics.  The problem with pricy equipment is that you need billable events to pay for it.  The X-rayed Sookie's but to look for broken bones.

In the good old days, the vet would have watched Sookie walk across the floor and done some gentle mobility testing of her hind legs, given her a whacking big shot of 48 hour Pen and sent her home with pain pills and follow up antibiotics.


Sookie is going to be fine.  She has  a couple of punctures on one butt cheek and a bruise on the other.  The owner really does not want stitches (optional given the small size of the punctures) because Sookie sleeps on the bed with them and they would find the "satellite dish" awkward.

The final bill will be somewhere between $500 and $800.  I admit to being cheap enough to have that really, really sting.  But I am not mean about paying for it.  My dog is my responsibility.

And I have some fence repair to do today.

---Bonus link:  Protocol for treatment of puncture wounds in humans---

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