Critical Condition

Going Postal on Government Health Care

President Obama created an obvious opening with his foolish comparison of government-run health care to the U.S. Postal Service, and Kyle Smith drives a big delivery truck through it over at the New York Post:

Despite enjoying a legal monopoly on first-class mail — private carriers are required to charge more than twice as much as USPS to deliver a letter — and another monopoly on access to mailboxes, despite paying no taxes and being allowed to borrow $3 billion a year from the government at discounted rates, it still loses mountains of money. Projected losses are $7 billion this year, says a think-tank analyst, Don Soifer of the Lexington Institute.

The USPS answer to these problems? Cut services. It is lobbying to curtail mail delivery from six days a week to five. The Lexington Institute estimates that 60,000 mailboxes have already been removed from the streets.

Keep in mind that all the Post Office does is deliver mail, not babies, and that under ObamaCare you will be cooling your heels as you await surgery, not stamps. William Henderson, the US postmaster general from 1998 to 2001, wrote upon leaving that “what the Postal Service needs now is nothing short of privatization.”

Leave aside the shocking off-handedness with which the president promised to put tens of millions of Americans in a system that he himself compared to the one that “is always having problems.” The US Postal Service is characterized by monopoly, long waits, indifferent treatment of customers, dwindling services, billions in losses and expert opinion that it would work better as a private firm — exactly the list of flaws critics cite about ObamaCare.

Thanks for drawing our attention to all this, Mr. President.

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