Herding Cats

Monday, August 30, 2010
My friend Mitch, who lives in Montreal, was stuck overnight in Cleveland. Mitch used to live on Solon. He misses his friends, our shopping, and our health care – in that order. While visiting him at the airport Marriott, he once again regaled me with his stories of fighting for the attention of Canadian doctors and hospital staff. He hopes to return to the U.S. one day. He is counting on our system to still be here for him.

Mitch and my friends on the far right are very worried that we will one day have a single payer, rigid system like Canada’s. My one word answer is to RELAX. If you would like proof that their fears are in vain, I give you an article in yesterday’s Plain Dealer.

The story, a reprint of a New York Times article, was about medical marijuana. Medical marijuana is legal in some states, illegal in others. It is banned by some employers while ignored by others. The federal government has raided distribution centers while giving lip-service to states’ rights.

We are Americans. We could never tolerate an absence of choice. We would never accept a one-way, the only way, type of health care system. We are contrarians by nature. Our rules constantly change because we are constantly changing.

The short article included a brief description of Nick Stennet’s employment problem. Mr. Stennet told his employer about his health problems and his daily use of medical marijuana. He was later fired when, surprise, he failed the drug test. The lawyers should have a field day with this.

The laws in Rhode Island might be like the laws in Hawaii, but very different than those in Utah or Alabama. People in Maine choose to live in Maine, not New Hampshire. And California is constantly at war with itself. That’s us. This is the essence of the United States.

Rigid? Choiceless? Single-payer with no other options? That’s just not our style.