The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Our Pets, Ourselves: The Surprising Similarities Between America’s Human and Animal Health-Care Systems

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Our Pets, Ourselves: The Surprising Similarities Between America’s Human and Animal Health-Care Systems

American health care is weird and expensive. Those are about the most sure-fire things anyone can say about the sprawling behemoth of insurers, health professionals, hospitals, clinics, and pharma companies in the United States. Is it good at actually making people healthy? For the most part, but sometimes it depends. Is it the best system in the world? Probably not, but some pieces are really good. Why is it so expensive, and can we fix it? Well, those are the three-trillion-dollar questions. Good luck.

A new study suggests that we might consider taking some tips from our pet health-care system. A NBER working paper by Liran Einav and Atul Gupta at Stanford University and Amy Finkelstein at MIT finds that pet health care in the United States has exhibited growth, accessibility, and end-of-life spending patterns that almost directly mirror patterns in the American human health-care system. Their work suggests that pet health care is a useful comparison point for analysis and research. The high cost of (human) healthcare in the U.S. is often attributed to the labyrinthine structure of our insurance-based system. But a close study of the pet health-care system hints that something else might be at work, because it still suffers from the same high cost problem, despite being streamlined by comparison.

To read more on this story, click here: Our Pets, Ourselves: The Surprising Similarities Between America’s Human and Animal Health-Care Systems

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