Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Every Dog Has Its Day: A Modest Proposal to Reform Health Care
In Dog, we trust.
Dyslexic Aphorism
Every dog has his day, and mine has been a fine one.
George Borrow (1803-1881)

June 20, 2012 -  What if health reform were to go to the dogs?
 I thought of this health reform outcome today when my new dog arrived.  He is a 12 week old French Bulldog, and he weighs 4 pounds.
His name is Marcus Fulbright Reece – Marcus after my son Mark  Spencer and Fulbright because Spencer  just won a Fulbright scholarship. He will use the scholarship to teach little girls in an Honduras orphanage, the Little Roses,  to express themselves in poetry. , and to publish a book of their poems.
Dogs and Human Health
What, you may ask,  does this puppy have to do with health reform?   Simply this; I bought the dog to assure the health of myself and my wife and to lower our health costs.  Think of it this way:  loving a dog calms the nerves, rendering  mood altering drugs unnecessary.    This calming effect lowers blood pressure, reducing risks of heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure.   Walking the dog exercises your heart,  your large muscles,  and  even your bowels.  In addition,  loving a dog divert attention from yourself, thereby avoiding morbid introspection and concerns over the fate of the universe and your personal  destiny.
A Modest Proposal
With these benefits in mind,  I have a modest proposal to make.  Let dog-centered health reform be a  solution to the outrage and anger that will ensue after the Supreme Court decides on the constitutionality of Obamacare.  Conservative and liberal, the young and the old, the sick and the well,  all love dogs,  and introducing dogs would surely rejuvenate health reform.
I propose that dog owners be allowed to write off  costs of human and dog health costs because dogs contribute to good health of their owners.  As a corollary, the healthier the dog, the healthier the owner.  
The write-off might vary with the size of the dog and the dog’s need for exercise.  Big dogs, herding dogs, hunting dogs, and running dogs might get a bigger discount, because they force their owners to move more.  On the other paw,  lazy , complacent,  calm low maintenance dogs, like French and English Bulldogs,  deserve a discount too because of their lovability and tranquility.    
To make sure everything is fair and transparent and to expand access to all dogs and dog owners, we could create Countable and Accountable Dog Organizations (CADOs).  At the  State Level,  we could introduce  Dog Health Exchanges (DHEs).  As a result of this comprehensive process, we could do away with Dog Pounds,  which taxpayers maintain. And we could put an  end to rescue dog and adoption dog organizations, for every dog would have a Medical Home it can call its own.  This reform proposal will have to be vetted, of course,  but I think  we will find that doing away with Pounds is worth a Ton of Prevention.
For those of you who do not understand dogs or their health benefits,  here is an introductory poem by the late Poet Ogden Nash (1902-1971).
The dog is man’s best friend.
He has a tail on one end
Up in front he has teeth.
And four legs underneath.

Dogs like to bark.
They like it best after dark.
They not only frighten prowlers away
But also hold the sandman at bay.

A dog that is indoors
To be let out implores.
You let him out and what then?
He wants back in again.

Dogs display reluctance and wrath
If you try to give them a bath.
They bury bones in hideaways
And half the time they trot sideaways.

They cheer up people who are frowning,
And rescue people who are drowning,
They also track mud on beds,
And chew people’s clothes to shreds.

Dogs in the country have fun.
They run and run and run.
But in the city this species
Is dragged around on
leashes .

Dogs are upright as a steeple
And much more loyal than people.
Well people may be reprehensibler
But that’s probably because they
are sensibler.

Tweet:   Introducing  Dog-Centered Care into our Health Reform  System  will be popular and will  produce better health for millions of Americans

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