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I would think that if you had one payer system it would be cheaper just because of all the layers of billing bureaucracy that would be eliminated. I have lived under Canada's health care system most of my life and can't say ever having to wait for long periods for care other than in emergency room which seems the norm everywhere.
It might only be lightly annoying but if it continues for 8 hours it may have just pushed him over the edge. I think once something starts bothering people it doesn't take much to make their behaviour irrational when viewed by folks with no dog in the fight.
I would say it is more likely not cooked long enough. Try 195 to 205 F, I usually use a fork and give the meat a bit of twist when it feels tender you're done.
I agree a quarter open for the bottom vent is too much, I am closer to a 1/4 inch. I also try to have the temperature stable before adding the meat.