Now Playing at Treat Me Like a Dog!


When it comes to health care, who gets treated better—man or man's best friend? Of course, it's hard to make an apples-to-apples comparison when you're comparing four-legged patients to people, and there are many ways in which human care tops pet care. But pet owners told there are some ways where it would be a step up to be treated like a dog.

Pet owners like the convenience of animal care; they also like the client-focused atmosphere. "I think one of the things that human health care can learn from veterinary medicine is the client service side of things, the relationship side of things," says Dr. Peter Weinstein, executive director of the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association. Various reasons explain why people often find animal care so pleasant, says Weinstein. One reason—animal care workers love what they do. Another reason—competition.

Weinstein notes that vets work hard to differentiate themselves from their competitors because "there are a large number of vet hospitals, many located very closely to one another." And vets know even more competitors could emerge because less red tape makes it easier to open an animal hospital. Weinstein recalls opening his clinic, which offered everything from X-rays to operations: "I believe it was 12 weeks from the time I signed the lease to the time I saw my first client. Try doing that with human health care."

It would take at least 20 times as long to open a comparable human hospital in California. It can take even longer in the 34 states with "certificate of need" (CON) laws, where state agencies—not consumers—decide how many hospitals there should be. These laws even allow existing hospitals to hold up plans for new hospitals. "The existing hospitals go in front of these government agencies and say, 'we don't need any competitors; we're taking fine care of the people,'" explains Reason magazine's Ronald Bailey. Recently, certificate of need—often called CON law—provoked a showdown in Tennessee where frustrated residents resorted to protests and petition drives to pressure the state to green-light a new hospital.

Weinstein is happy veterinarians don't have to deal with anti-competitive CON laws, "In veterinary medicine we could have two practices right next to each other and then it's the consumer deciding to whom they want to go." Consumer choice and competition—maybe we could use more of that in human health care.

"Treat Me Like a Dog" is written and produced by Ted Balaker, who also hosts. The director of photography is Alex Manning, the field producer is Paul Detrick and the animations were done by Hawk Jensen.

Approximately six minutes. Click here for embed code and downloadable versions.

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  1. I’m having a feeling of deja vu . . . all over again.

  2. Weinstein is happy veterinarians don’t have to deal with anti-competitive CON laws, “In veterinary medicine we could have two practices right next to each other and then it’s the consumer deciding to whom they want to go.” Consumer choice and competition?maybe we could use more of that in human health care.

    Before the usual assholes start arguing that “Human Care is not the same as Pet Care!”, please be reminded that there is no reason to think that care for humans should not be as free to competition and from regulation as pet care, none.

    Most of the “reasons” I read from otehrwise intelligent people amount to stupid appeals to pity and question begging.

  3. Is he in LA? Would could treat him like a dog but I need to know if he still has his balls. His licenses is $15 if no, $100 if yes.

    1. I’d pay the extra $85 to keep mine.

      OTOH, eunuchs don’t necessarily lose their ability to perform. They were often sought out by Roman women due to their stamina and the fact that there were no pregnancy worries.

      1. I want to have children one day so I will take the $100 licence-to-stay-out-of-a-gas-chamber.

  4. Since Reason is not posting much today. Check this out. To protect and serve baby.
    Three Nebraska prison guards have been suspended after one allegedly posted Facebook comments expressing enjoyment at roughing up an inmate, and the others supported his actions. State prison officials said the three were suspended pending an investigation.…../702259829

  5. I am from Iowa. I found this article which I believe adds to the discussion concerning CON laws.…..95/18/2141

      1. Motherfuck you, faulty mouse. That’s right, this was all the fucking mouse’s fault. All of it.

    1. “Conclusions: Patients with acute myocardial infarction were less likely to be admitted to hospitals offering coronary revascularization and to undergo early revascularization in states with certificate of need regulations. However, differences in the availability and use of revascularization therapies were not associated with mortality.”

      in other words, people with heart attacks were less likely to be admitted to hospitals in CON states… but it didn’t matter b/c restoring blood flow to the heart has no impact on mortality.


    Nicola Tesla’s letterhead. It is actually way cool.

    1. Say, that is cool. I went to an Engineering Expo at USF last weekend, and the Physics department demonstration (they’re horning in on the Engineering guys) included a Tesla coil. They lit up a florescent bulb from a foot or two away.

      They said that the tower that Tesla tested could power things miles away, just using the atmosphere as a conductor. Cool. . and scary.

      1. I read something the other day about how some Japanese physicists have proven that it is possible and feasible to teleport energy across large distances. That is a way cool prospect.

        1. So how do you charge for it?

          Roughly the same question that ended Tesla’s dream.

          1. Well, Edison is who ended Tesla’s dreams.
            Tesla was a one of a kind individual. I dare say he was a super genius. The government confiscated all his work after his death. Makes you wonder…

  7. Great, I finally get a few minutes break from work and the latest thread is about dogs’ balls. You people really are a bunch of degenerates.

    1. You were not working. Admit it. You were over on the FDA thread trolling as “Susan”.

      1. Now I have to go look at that thread. Thanks a lot. It’s better than dogs’ balls, I guess.

        1. If Susan wasn’t A+ trolling, I fear for America’s future.

          1. It’s just a variation of Juanita. Definitely trolling, and I am, as ever, fucking astonished by how many people argue with something so obviously designed to push their buttons. At least there is some subtlety to Tony and Choad (not as much as Neil–I miss him so much), but the Juanita/Susan shit is just transparent. Yet people still fall for it.

            1. It was pretty fun yesterday, though, when the LRC crowd was here. TREASON KOCHTOPUS ORANGE LINE COSMOTARIANS

              1. Without LoneDipshit calling himself Orange Line Special and espousing his Kotchopussian conspiracy theories, it’s just not the same.

                (sad face)

                1. If I could take back getting him banned, I’d…wait. No, I’m pretty happy I got him banned. Fuck that guy.

                  1. Warty, you’re so hostile. I like our trolls. Except for JohnSukiBot.

                  2. I predict Epi is going to say something about Suki.


            2. I am the worst about that. I am a terrible sucker for trolls.

  8. One of the biggest differences… clients pay out of pocket for services as opposed to having “health insurance”.

  9. I’m not the biggest Stooges fan, but I still think they missed a pretty good reference.

    1. You know, every time I listen to the Stooges, it just reminds me how much I love Monster Magnet.

      1. Good choices, both. I don’t care what Episiarch says, I know you’re not a cretin.

        1. I never said Warty was a cretin, I said he was a boor and a philistine. Big difference. I’d have expected you to know the difference, but maybe you’re too much of a dilettante.

          1. Boor sounds about right.

            1. See? SEE?

              1. I need 3 grams of Piracetam a day just to remember where I put my fucking keys, and you expect me to remember distinctions like that?

  10. Bravo. Really, really well done piece.

  11. On another note, having worked in both healthcare AND veterinary medicine, I can attest to the fact that since the advent of “pet insurance”, the prices of vet care have positively skyrocketed.

  12. I like that saying, thanks!
    Thanks for posting this. Very nice recap of some of the key points in my talk. I hope you and your readers find it useful! Thanks again

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