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.
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