Veterinary leaders discuss the long- and short-term implications of this year's election on practice, academia and the economy.
"Overall, we predict that any funding issues will be very difficult due to the current and projected state of the economy, especially if we are asking for money for new programs. In addition, some existing programs will receive less funding or will be eliminated.
"We anticipate an increase in regulation, especially in the areas of food safety, environmental issues and conservation. From an AVMA standpoint, this could be beneficial in our efforts to return funding to the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank (FARAD), which offers information about how to avoid residues of medications and contaminants in food animals.
"Issues that might affect veterinary clinics include a possible increase in taxes on small businesses; increased regulation by OSHA, EPA and other federal agencies; strong worker support (e.g., upgraded leave, higher minimum wage, mandated paid sick leave); and health-care reform (e.g., universal coverage, more government involvement, possible tax credit for small businesses for health insurance premiums)."
— Dr. Ron DeHaven
Chief Executive Officer American Veterinary Medical Association
"Looking at the election purely from a companion-animal practice perspective, making sure that the economy does not negatively impact pets getting veterinary care is the biggest concern. We will not only have a new President, we'll have a new group of economic advisers and probably a new Treasury secretary. Let's hope that they are up to addressing the significant economic challenges we face."
— John W. Albers, DVM
Executive Director American Animal Hospital Association
"As a result of the election, consumer confidence increases. People may be willing to spend more on the care of their pet. Right now, there is a lot of uncertainty in the marketplace. Our hospitals fall in line with private practices. Even though our hospitals are owned by a corporation, the same market forces that play on owner-operated hospitals impact us."
— Art Antin
Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of VCA Antech
"We will have to deal with what has happened with the economy and weather the recession. It's not just who wins the Presidency, but also the make-up of the House and Senate. What types of legislation will be undertaken? Whoever wins will need to take responsible steps to pull the country out of this recession. The impact of the recession on universities, how much will be available in loans for students, we're very interested and concerned, of course. People also are seeing opportunities to make education more affordable. This reinforces the need for all of us to be thinking more creatively in terms of the education of our veterinarians."
— Marguerite Pappaioanou, DVM
Executive Director Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges