Rangel must go redux
Tax protester tactic no 'Miracle'

Health care, for you and your pets

Health care for humans has been the hot topic for what seems like forever. But as any parent of a furry four-legged child (or any other type of nontraditional pet) can tell you, the cost of vet care is outrageous, too.

Still we spend it because, as I noted, to many of us, our pets are our kids.

Rep. Thaddeus G. McCotter (R-Mich.) understands that. So he's introduced H.R. 3501, a bill to allow a tax deduction for pet care expenses.

Under the HAPPY Act of 2009, with the acronym coming from Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (see, they do come up with the initials first and work backward for a name!), taxpayers could deduct up to a maximum of $3,500 for pet care, including, veterinary costs.

McCotter says he introduced the HAPPY Act because (a) there are a lot of pet owners out there (63 percent of U.S. households have a pet, according to the 2007-08 National Pet Owners Survey) and (b) it makes good human health care sense, too.

The Congressman notes that the human-animal bond has been shown to have positive effects upon people's emotional and physical well-being.

So it's really just a way to help pet owners pay for the preventative care that our non-human companions provide.

Will this bill pass? I doubt it, despite the millions of pet owners out there. Folks on Capitol Hill across the Flyover and to the Left Coast are railing about the growing budget deficit, so adding to it with this type of legislation is not likely.

But have faith, pet owners. It's been introduced and most bills keep getting dropped in the hopper Congressional session after Congressional session. One day it just might come to pass.

On the human health care front: Meanwhile, lawmakers will get back down to the tough business of hammering out a human health care reform bill when they return to work next week.

As Ze Frank notes, it's a complicated task.

This morning, a group of bipartisan Senate Finance Committee (SFC) negotiators reportedly held another teleconference in an effort to reach a compromise on health care proposals.

According to CCH, this six-member SFC group held a similar call during the August recess, but ...

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) remains committed to his earlier announced Sept. 15 deadline to produce a bill. The big question now is whether he can get the Committee's ranking minority member, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), back on board.


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Maggie Rhines, pro Raw Dog Food

"The Congressman notes that the human-animal bond has been shown to have positive effects upon people's emotional and physical well-being."

Very true! I fully support this bill, I hope one day it will come to pass.

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