Can We Adopt a "Dog Model" for Healthcare in the United States?

Often Americans pay more for the same health treatments as people from other countries. For example: hip replacement surgery in the US costs about $40,000, compared with about $16,000 in the UK. Americans are paying about 2.5x more.

Some people see this and believe it’s a good idea to adopt a model like Canada or the UK.

But what if there was a model that made the same procedures (at the same quality) even less expensive? Sometimes people cite places like India or Thailand, but their health outcomes and other factors like costs of living are lower. Can we look at an alternative model that keeps things in the United States or a peer country?

Let’s consider what it costs for dogs to get the same treatment as people in the US:



What is your initial reaction to seeing this? Curiosity? Skepticism? Frustration?

What do you think contributes to the differences between what American people and dogs are paying for healthcare? Can we learn from this “Dog Model” of healthcare?

An exercise with your friends:

Get together and list what you think might be the most important drivers of cost that are different for dogs and people. Come up with 3-5 and rank them.

In the comments section, let us know what your list looks like. We’ll take the most common drivers people thought of and do some research for another post!


Erik Fogg

We do politics, but we don't do the thinking for you.