Ya know what? I'm going to forgo visiting the Mayo Clinic for a benign cyst and complain about my compassionate and gentle doctor who I chose myself, and see whenever my bouts of hypochondria are looking for company. I'm going to do this, because, while I don't have to pay for health care, and I don't have to worry about an exorbitant co-payment that would prevent me from finding out that my “it's probably just a bad cold” is actually the swine flu, I do have to pay for my own vacations – and I think I'd like to visit Washington...for free...and if that means hangin' with a bunch of sour Republicans in thrall with my tales of health-care woe, even though I don't have any, then, whatever, I'll make some shit up.

That time when I was unemployed, depressed and broke...and I visited my doctor who spent half an hour with me discussing mental health issues and general advice on wellness? Never happened! And my buddy who ruptured his Achilles on a Monday and was having surgery on Wednesday – and by the way, a torn achilles is only life threatening if you're a Greek God – but still, no six months wait for this guy! But don't worry, I won't be telling my Republican hosts that story.

Now, this doesn't mean there aren't problems with the Canadian system, and while it's not as enthralling as Michael Moore thinks it is – I mean, I don't get blown by a candy-striper when I go get my tonsils removed – it's certainly not a soviet era system replete with rusty speculums and recycled cotton swabs. And so, while not perfect, our response isn't to replace the system – it's to improve it, and there are government committees that are always looking at ways to at making it better.

So I find it fascinating that American critics will root out any flaw and use it as excuse enough to keep the status quo, which, remember, means tens of millions of Americans have no insurance coverage, and millions more have the privilege of being ruined financially in life and death decisions. It's also exceedingly disingenuous to frame the discussion completely around an either/or scenario. If the American system is one extreme and the Canadian system is at the other, then the US has the opportunity to find the best of both systems and creating something uniquely American. I mean, the Canadian system isn't something you order and it comes in a crate that you pry open with a hammer an sickle.

But, again, I won't be sharing that story until after I've been flown to Washington and take a meeting with Republicans, preferably at Ruths Chris Steak House and after a visit to whatever musical is on at the Kennedy Center. Now there's some shit I can't afford.

If Shona Holmes does not speak for you, then join the facebook group "Shona Holmes does not speak for me" at:


07/24/2009 16:42

right on, comrade!

07/25/2009 00:03

Lalo, great piece. Thanks also for the link to the Facebook Group.

07/28/2009 12:38

Such a shame that an awesome woman is being attacked. Shona had a life threatening illness and was made to wait months for care in Canada. Shame on all the ignorant Canadians who have nothing better to do than complain about Shona, because they have never been sick a day in their lives. They do not know how poor Canadian healthcare is. Shame on them. One day, they may find out that our Canadian healthcare system is not there for them or their family. Shame, shame, shameful Canadians, shame on you.

07/28/2009 13:23

Oh, Jane. Jane jane jane. I think Canadians are more than qualified to speak on behalf of their own health care. First, your facts are wrong. What about"benign cyst" don't you understand? "Shona holmes does not speak for me" is rife with stories of those who were deathly ill and would surely be dead or bankrupt, or both, under the US system. Believe me, it isn't the healthy who are complaining about Shona, it's those of us who have been treated beautifully in our system, as this article makes clear.

07/28/2009 20:14

Well, Dan I have been in and out of hospital my entire life, so I'm a little bit more than qualified to speak about the state of abysmal healthcare offered in this country. Furthermore, if you were going blind like Shona and suffering from serious cushing's syndrome due to that cyst you claim to be so benign, you wouldn't be a happy camper either. Our healthcare system causes death by long waiting lists. Again, shame on Canadians! Our so-called healthcare system simply sucks. What about long waiting lists and living with a life-threatening illness do you not understand Dan?

07/28/2009 20:17

Furthermore, you do not speak for me Dan, but Shona certainly does.

07/28/2009 22:48

Dear Jane,

I have family in both the US and Canada who've been in need of serious care and have utilized both systems. In the US, money talks. Period. Canada isn't perfect but it's closer than the US any day. Any nation that doesn't look after the health of its citizens (provided they look after themselves to the best of their ability) in the event of catastrophic illness does not deserve to call itself "great" in any measure.

08/02/2009 11:17

There's probably a plane leaving Canada for the United States of Beurocracy soon, can you be in front of it?

08/02/2009 11:19

Dang, misspelled bureaucracy! Where's my Funk & Wagnall's when I need it?


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