If man is reduced to the status of animals, then animals become entitled to the same dubious rights that all slaves of modern statists possess. It is not entirely surprising, then, that in California a new category of “patient” in the eyes of politicians has emerged: pets and other animals. The SPCA has estimated that Americans spent over $12 billion a year on veterinary care for animals. As medical science expands for humans, the types of treatments that can be used to cure animals also expands. There is certainly nothing wrong with that. Kindness to animals and the enjoyment of pets are hallmarks of a civil society.
These admirable qualities exist without the slightest interference by government. Dave Jones, a California State Assemblyman who is running for State Insurance Commission, has made health insurance for animals part of his campaign. People can buy private health insurance policies for animals — nothing wrong with that — and for farmers and ranchers, it may be a very practical business decisions. But fretting over “pre-existing conditions” in animal health insurance policies, as Jones is doing, pretends that dogs and cats are more than just pets. So far, Jones is limiting his demands for new laws to just requiring full disclosure by pet insurance companies, but anyone who has been following the pattern of statists knows that this is just the thin edge of the wedge.
Gary Lucks, an environmental lawyer in Oakland, has complained that when his 10-year-old dog needed treatment, he did not fully understand what the reimbursement rates would be by his pet insurance companies. He not only wants full disclosure (although no real fraud is alleged) but he also wants pet insurance to be added as a coded item for the California state insurance system. This approach, like Jones’ concern about whether pre-existing conditions for sick pets needs to be more fully disclosed to Californians, is simply the beginning of government control over the pet insurance industry. Big Brother just keeps getting bigger and bigger.