Skip to comments.Why Cat Owners Should All be Penalized
Posted on 06/26/2012 12:11:10 PM PDT by fteuph
Hi. I'm Art Caplan, speaking to you from the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. Today I want to talk about a very serious healthcare problem: irresponsible behavior on the part of a lot of Americans that isn't getting much attention, and that means you if you own a cat.
Many types of health costs are associated with cat ownership. We have allergies and asthma, people who wind up going to the hospital because they have allergic reactions either to the cat or the medicine they take, and there are all types of skin problems. The list goes on and on.
It is pretty clear that these miserable mousers are a huge healthcare problem. I started thinking about this when I saw a recent poll that was published in Forbes magazine that said that most Americans believe that there ought to be a tax on people who are overweight. They make a lifestyle choice and wind up causing more healthcare costs for everybody else due to the diseases and ailments linked to obesity, so Americans think they should pay more. By the way, their employers are starting to think that as well, that they should start to levy penalties and fines on people who are overweight at the workplace.
All of which takes me back to the issue of cats. If we are going to put a penalty on lifestyle choices, then shouldn't we penalize all lifestyle choices? If cats are really causing healthcare problems in the way that I think they do, then I think we need to be fair and tax cat owners.
If you look at the situation, there are probably 60 million or more Americans who own a cat. A lot of you out there choose to own more than one. Many of you have a cat and you actually keep children in the house near this cat, so these are all horrible, terrible, inappropriate, and immoral decisions.
Why? Well, we don't know exactly how much cat ownership costs, but it probably runs into billions of dollars every year in terms of allergy medicines that people take, hospitalizations that I mentioned earlier, and treating skin diseases. You are also exposing others who don't want to own a cat to cats because you can never get the cat dander and the cat allergen out of the rug, the furniture, and the carpet. Even if you move the cat, so to speak, the presence of the cat is left behind. This is a very burdensome thing, not just for people who live with cats but the rest of us who try to visit you or who want to move into a place where you have been.
Therefore, it is pretty clear -- probably beyond any ethical dispute -- that cat ownership is an irresponsible choice. Let me add that none of this applies to dogs. I own a dog. I think they are wonderful. In fact, there probably should be a tax break for dog owners. But for cats, looking at the kinds of costs that are involved and the irresponsibility that cat owners exercise in choosing to have them, I think we need to start thinking more seriously about ways to extend penalties if we are going to make personal responsibility a part of healthcare.
Cat owners, think hard about what I said. And those of you who are in favor of personal responsibility as a way to cut down healthcare costs, you know who I am talking about.
This is Art Caplan at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. I wish all of you a happy summer.
Replace cats with "homo sexuals" and watch 'em howel...I mean meow!
Never heard of him until now. I just read some stuff on the net about him and will add some of his books to my hubby’s birthday presents. Thank you!
This is satire. He’s making the point that, if you’re going to penalize life-style choices (smoking obesity), then you have to penalize ALL of them.
He believes the opposite.
We usually take them in, spay/neuter and feed them. We have no problems when it comes to cats and the free range poultry. The chickens and ducks are able to defend themselves against felines.
You realize, of course, the connection will be lost on most cat owners, don’t you?
You don’t live on a farm/ranch. Neither did I until a few years ago and once you do you tend to become much more pragmatic.
Obviously Caplan is mocking the futility of basing insurance rates on personal choices. People make hundreds of choices daily that may affect their health. It is absurd to dictate legal behavior in individuals, & impossible to verify. If this is the price of health insurance, I'll pass. (Is it any wonder that the nanny Rats want to force us to buy health insurance?)
The dog thing gives it away. Dogs are “wonderful”? Yeah, I agree, but that's not a health argument. Dogs are just as bad as cats for allergies & diseases. Caplan knows 60M people will go ballistic over losing their cats.
He also knows it is cats today - alcohol, red meat, anything processed, dairy products, sugar, ... tomorrow. Before the nannies are through, only tofu & grass sprouts will be on our menus, & we will jog to the store to buy it. Again, just to have affordable insurance! A free market in health insurance would laugh this nonsense out of business?
See my post #18. I’m slow, but eventually I catch on. :-)
A lot of cat folks here are raising H#LL! He picked a subject (cats) that a lot of people feel strongly about, myself included. Teehee!!!!
I hope these folks realize the real subject of this article - nanny state fascism.
Funny - I just looked myself and realized there are 3 more books I need to read.
I tell folks if that they read the 1st 18 pages of ‘Point of Impact’ where Bob is “earning Tim” - they will know whether or not they’ll like my favorite protagonist: Bob the nailer...
You can read the first chapter here:
Yes, I do. With 20 chickens, 21 ducks, and a pride of cats, it's small, but it's still my farm.
Was this piece intended as sarcasm?
Yeah. Hazardous behavior kind of defines the Left. They are gonna hate it when they have to eat like Madonna, but still look like Barney Frank.
Just look at all the loss of income from all the liberal busy bodies with all the regulations and fees and penaltys for everything under the sun.
Far better to put a penalty on busybodies than cats. Besides busybodies have more cash.
So cat ownership is a boost to the economy.
Problem is by the time Hollywood gets through with him, it'll be Tom Cruise, just as they're about to do with Lee Child's 6'5", brawling, Jack Reacher character.
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