06/27/2007 03:58 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Why is My Dog's Healthcare Better Than Mine?

Great news on the health care front!

A member of my immediate family got full reimbursement for the great treatment she received from her primary care doctor and a specialist.

Color me jealous! I thought to myself, as I pulled her check from my mailbox.

"Sit!" I told my dog, bb, the family member with the great doctors and insurance, who was trying to chew the check.

Why is my dog's healthcare so much better than mine? The question dogged me as we raced back to my apartment. So I answered it:

Answer one: Bang for Buck

bb's healthcare beats mine with a stick, that's for sure! This chart relays the deets, using a heuristic, peer-adjusted metric*.

(*Those terms mean zip-zilcho-nada. But don't they sound... insurancy?)

Click for larger chart.

Answer two: Right-sizing

The second answer to my question - why is my dog's health care better than mine? - is the difference between hand-me downs and bespoke suits.

If my dog, bb, needs a prescription, her vet prescribes a dose based on her size. Focusing on treating a particular body as opposed to "symptoms" is such a smart, yet simple approach to care!

Could this be why human healthcare disses it?

"You must be one of the two percent of Caucasians," a doctor (no longer mine) replied when I told him my 4'10" body could not process "normal" drug doses. Then he sighed, as if I'd just failed a course called, "Tolerating Pharma."

If only there was a drug I could prescribe for drug sensitivity!
his sigh said.

Shortly after that, I switched to acupuncture, a practice based on maintaining health as opposed to "curing disease."

The great news? I've found medical care that's right for me!

The bad news? My $7,000 plan does not include "alternative" care.

Answer three: Love.

Love is not a wacky thing to bring up in tandem with health care - at least, I hope it's not.

My niece and nephew are nine and four. I'd love for healthcare to be patient-focused and affordable by the time they're in high school - to offer bene-fit, affordable and true, in place of today's maledictions.

Last week, a canine ophthalmologist held my dog's face between his hands. The dog had never seen an eye doctor before. Needless to say? She was freaking.

"Hello, little person," he said, and proceeded to examine her. He had nothing less than total love in his eyes, and a totally calm dog in his hands.

Love, of course, is a two-way street. Consumers hold the reigns - or should I say, the leash? - of change. And in my family, the chief consumer is me.

An MD-turned-naturopath once told me that traditional medicine attracts heroes who need folks in distress. But I don't have to be one of them.

Inspired by bb, I'm getting health care that treats me like a bitch.

It'll be an improvement.