H.R. 1406 and why I am proud of Congress

            There are plenty of issues in our country today, the mounting debt, the housing crises, entitlements, and the unemployment rate.  These are daunting tasks that everyone has a stake in, but certainly our Congress has a rather large role.  In the last few years Americans have not been happy with Congress and their handling of these and other issues.  So much so that their approval rating is basically a tie with the margin of error. 

            However I think the tide is beginning to change.  There are even bigger issues at hand for a bipartisan Congress to tackle and find common ground.  More unscrupulous than the shady mortgage back securities is the greedy veterinarians that hike up the costs of the drugs they prescribe and hold pet owner’s hostage by not writing scripts for the medications that owners could get for less at the store around the corner.  This is a national injustice that must come to an end and I was quite pleased to find the Fairness to Pet Owners Act of 2011 or H.R. 1406 that was introduced to Congress by Representative Matheson of Utah.  This law mandates that a veterinarian must provide a disclosure that the pet owner can get the same medication from another pharmacy and that the veterinarian must provide a script whether they are dispensing the medication or not.  This bill really helps the struggling mega retailers that have fallen on hard times the past few years and really don’t have a lot in the budget for advertising.  All the while everyone sees veterinarians strutting about in their 1992 Ford Tempos and eating fancy meatball sandwiches at Subway.  It is sheer brilliance to put the onus on the well to do veterinarian to do the advertising for them. 

            The bill also prohibits the veterinarian from scaring clients into signing a liability disclaimer form if the prescription is filled inaccurately.  I am sure Congress has done their research and can validate that every possible distributor of veterinary medication is as legit as the solar energy companies they invest in.  The mandate to write a prescription every time the mention of a drug is uttered is also answering the call that most Americans want more regulation in their life.  Times are tough and with so many options out there it can be very difficult making a decision for yourself, I am so relieved that we have people inWashingtonhelping us out and giving us more paperwork to do to ensure that everyone is on the same plain.  The extra paper needed is not a concern because everyone knows paper is a limitless supply.

            These are certainly concerning times for our country but by tackling such an important issue as veterinary pharmacy price gouging it appears Congress may have finally gotten their act together.  There is bipartisan support for the bill and when it likely passes this just may be an important turning point for our representatives.  The momentum will help them carry on and work together to tackle other important issues such as designating where Tebowing is legal and making sure hot dog vendors keep the ketchup and mustard containers at least half full.

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