So the Public Option Would Be Like the Post Office?

By August 12, 2009Health Care

And that’s supposed to be reassuring?

President Obama, at his townhall meeting in Portsmouth, N.H.

Now, I recognize, though, you make a legitimate — you raise a legitimate concern. People say, well, how can a private company compete against the government? And my answer is that if the private insurance companies are providing a good bargain, and if the public option has to be self-sustaining — meaning taxpayers aren’t subsidizing it, but it has to run on charging premiums and providing good services and a good network of doctors, just like any other private insurer would do — then I think private insurers should be able to compete. They do it all the time. (Applause.)

I mean, if you think about — if you think about it, UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? No, they are. It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems. (Laughter.)

Associated Press, August 6, 2009, “Post office might look for new revenue“:

The post office said Wednesday it has lost $4.7 billion so far this year and expects to be $7 billion in the red by the end of the fiscal year because of the recession and the movement of letters and bills to e-mail.

Several hundred offices are being studied for possible closing and the agency has proposed other cost-saving moves including cutting mail delivery to five days a week.

More discussion, some vociferous, at National Review’s The Corner, “Subject: Town Hall mania

UPDATE (9 a.m. Thursday): Josh Trevino makes a point via Twitter: “The whole ‘post office’ argument is premised upon the public’s ignorance of the Constitution. And it works.” A bit oblique, but we take that to mean that the Article I of the Constitution establishes the post offices and post roads, but not the public option in health care. But what if we make health care PART of the U.S. Postal Service?

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