Need to Know More About ObamaCare? Two Words: Post. Office.

 

It’s a cliche, I know. People say Government running health care? Have you been to the Post Office lately? That’s what it’ll be like.

But, seriously: that’s what it’ll be like. The parallels are eerie: runaway costs, zero commitment to quality, hostility towards market competition, public employee union graft.

From Kevin Hassett’s piece in Bloomberg:

To understand where the advocates of big government will take this country, look at the U.S. Postal Service.

Start with the fact the Postal Service is a great jobs machine,employing 712,000 people at an average annual compensation, including wages and benefits, of $83,000. And those hefty pay checks are a great source of political contributions for Democrats. In 2010, almost 90 percent of the approximately $4 million contributed to campaigns by postal unions went to Democrats. Take a guess where much of the opposition to reform comes from.

But high-priced labor, which accounts each year for about 80 percent of costs, leads to high-priced mail services, and even higher costs for taxpayers. Over the past 10 years, the price of a stamp has risen from 33 cents to 44 cents, exceeding the inflation rate at a time when computerization should have been leading to big cost savings. Even so the Postal Service lost about $6 billion this year and by its own projections it will drop a cool $238 billion over the next decade. By 2020, the last year in the projections, the Postal Service will be losing $33 billion annually.

How, exactly, will national health care be any different? Especially because the goal of Obama’s health reform is to eliminate, ultimately, any kind of private competition. As in:

The Postal Service is able to survive because U.S. law protects it with not one but two monopolies. First, it is the only entity that is allowed to deliver many types of mail. There are a few exceptions that have allowed FedEx Corp., United Parcel Service Inc. and bicycle carriers to flourish, but low- cost, high-volume letters are walled off from competition from other providers.

Second, the Postal Service actually has a legal monopoly over your privately owned mailbox. You bought it, but if another company starts to use it as a receptacle for letters, they are violating federal law.

The solution to the Post Office Problem is to privatize it, which will take enormous political momentum — it’s always hard to take away someone’s fat sinecure. I wonder if the Tea Party is up to it.

Is there any doubt that ObamaCare in, say, 20 years will have the same runaway costs, the same crushing system of labor perks, the same attitude towards customer service?

There are 14 comments.

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @FrozenChosen

    And when Govt Healthcare Inc starts denying treatment to people to cut costs you may see another similarity….patients “going postal”

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Member
    @JimmyCarter

    Is there any doubt that ObamaCare in, say, 20 years will have a monopoly on you?

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MichaelTee

    Oh Fedex, UPS and DHL exist. They’re way more expensive, but they’re worth it.

    Like anything else that gets regulated, I bet they’ll be a black market for medical care.

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Contributor
    @Midge
    Michael Tee:

    Like anything else that gets regulated, I bet they’ll be a black market for medical care. · Oct 13 at 9:09am

    There already is.

    A grey market, at the very least. My only direct experience with this is through the dispensary pharmacist at my university, who used to pull a few semi-shady dealings to get her students the old, cheap kind of rescue inhaler (the kind with a minuscule amount of evil CFC propellant), which are much cheaper than the newer ones. (She ran out eventually, though.)

    People also use veterinary drugs on the sly — and not just for recreation — some because they are cheaper, some because there are medicines which, though by any reasonable standard, seem safe for human use, are only approved for veterinary use by the FDA.

    I know there was a black market for Vioxx after it was pulled. And I don’t blame the participants.

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @EJHill

    The same people who claim pro-life legislation leads to back-alley abortions give us health care “reform” that will lead to grandma getting a back-alley hip replacement. That’s Progressive?

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MichaelTee
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake

    People also use veterinary drugs on the sly — and not just for recreation — some because they are cheaper, some because there are medicines which, though by any reasonable standard, seem safe for human use, are only approved for veterinary use by the FDA

    I’m treating my beagle for bladder cancer, and I wish some veterinary drugs were cheaper.

    • #6
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    @CasBalicki

    Coming to a doctor’s office near you, govenment control of what evil doctors can charge patients along with limits to the number of patients any doctor can see in a day. Doctors are an easy target in the class wars because we know they are all richer and smarter than the rest of us, so they deserve our union inspired wrath. Besudes, everybody knows that the only people in the world that work hard for their money all belong to the UAW.

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Contributor
    @Midge
    Michael Tee

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake

    People also use veterinary drugs on the sly — and not just for recreation — some because they are cheaper, some because there are medicines which, though by any reasonable standard, seem safe for human use, are only approved for veterinary use by the FDA

    I’m treating my beagle for bladder cancer, and I wish some veterinary drugs were cheaper. · Oct 13 at 10:21am

    God bless your beagle. Several of my relatives had beagles when they were growing up, and their attachment ran pretty deep.

    Yes, not all veterinary medicines are cheap, just some of them cheaper than their human-medicine equivalents.

    I hope your beagle gets well again, if that’s possible.

    • #8
  9. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MichaelTee
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake

    Michael Tee

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake

    People also use veterinary drugs on the sly — and not just for recreation — some because they are cheaper, some because there are medicines which, though by any reasonable standard, seem safe for human use, are only approved for veterinary use by the FDA

    I’m treating my beagle for bladder cancer, and I wish some veterinary drugs were cheaper. · Oct 13 at 10:21am
    God bless your beagle. Several of my relatives had beagles when they were growing up, and their attachment ran pretty deep.

    Yes, not all veterinary medicines are cheap, just some of them cheaper than their human-medicine equivalents.

    I hope your beagle gets well again, if that’s possible. · Oct 13 at 10:41am

    Thanks MFR, she won’t be 100% ever again, but we hope to have her for a couple more months…

    • #9
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    @Xty

    I am a Canadian, and our federal government recently referred to family doctors as “gatekeepers” to the system, essentially blaming doctors for letting too many patients into the system and therefore raising the cost of health-care. It is all done through rationing: many people can’t even find a family doctor; people who have one have a very difficult time actually getting to see them. Horror stories abound, and we had a friend who’s daughter had Hodgkin’s disease and needed radiation treatment. The government deemed that she was not sick enough to get a drug that would have lessened the effects of chemo, and it was illegal for the parents to buy it! Our black market is the U.S. – you must get rid of Obamacare.

    • #10
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    @Xty

    Oh, and they could see the drug in the cabinet in the nurses’ station. It was right there in the hospital and it would have helped the patient but she would have needed to be sicker. So basically, you only get care when you are seriously ill, and sometimes not even then.

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Member
    @Kozak

    Government Health Care:

    The efficiency of the Post Office

    The customer service of the DMV

    and

    The compassion of the IRS

    • #12
  13. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MJL
    And the people believe, and the people hope, and the people make a revolution! No sooner are their friends at the head of affairs, than they are called upon to redeem their pledge. “Give us work, bread, assistance, credit, education, colonies,” say the people; “and at the same time protect us, as you promised, from the taxes.” The new Government is no less embarrassed than the former one, for it soon finds that it is much easier to promise than to perform.– Bastiat, 1848

    I can’t quite grasp how Obamacare labels itself as “progressive” on the merit of its being 160 years remiss in social logic.

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Member
    @RossC

    Rob, I am amazed with your link to the ’97 GAO report on mailbox restrictions. Who knew such a thing existed?

    • #14

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