Reporting Eliott Rodriguez
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Dr. Mark Lutschaunig is the director of the Governmental Relations Division of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
“Congress never intended for this tax to impact veterinarian medicine and unfortunately it has, and I think that’s very unfortunate that veterinarian medicine now is subsidizing human health care,” said Dr. Lutschaunig.
Congressional sources who worked on the Affordable Care Act said lawmakers tried to exclude vets from being affected by the dual use medical devices tax, but it was too complicated.
Carol Smock knows about complications. She founded a charity that helps struggling pet owners pay for vet care. Smock started Brown Dog Foundation after struggling to pay for her chocolate lab’s medical bills while she was unemployed. Her organization is a 501c3 public charity that provides funding to families who find themselves in similar situations: A sick pet that would likely respond to treatment, but due to an unforeseen circumstance, there is not enough money immediately available to make it happen.
Smock is afraid The Brown Dog Foundation is going to be overwhelmed with requests.
“The impact this price increase is going to have on any of those families I think will be pretty devastating.”
Lori Heiselman said she worries about other families too, but she’ll find the money for her four-legged friends. “We’ll just have to cut back somewhere else.”
Veterinarians say, if your pet is sick or acting strangely, don’t delay care. That could just cause medical problems to get worse.
If you’re concerned with the cost of vet care, be sure to talk with your vet about payment plans or other financial options.