A Public Option Lesson

     Let me start by chronicling an event that just occurred. Two days before I left on a long trip, I went to the post office to change my address so my mail would be forwarded. In past years, I went in, filled out a yellow change of address form, handed it to a local USPS clerk and forgot about it. I left town, and the mail stopped coming to the old address on the date I requested, and it arrived a week later at my new address. Each piece of mail forwarded had a yellow sticker on it with the new address.  I timed my travel to cover the time of the relay. It worked every time.

     This time, I was in a hurry when I went to the post office. I asked a clerk for the form.

     She asked me, “only one?”

    “Yes,” I responded too quickly. I went to the counter to fill it out when I remembered that I have to fill out a form for each name that receives mail to an address. In the past, I was lucky. I got away with one form for my Sur name, and covered my family by checking the family box.  That way, my wife’s mail forwarded also. This time, I had to complete four cards. 1) Peggy is known by her former name, 2) her new name covered by a check in the family box, and 3)a hyphenated combo.  The fourth is mail that still comes for my beloved Aunt Marie. In the interest of time, I got sucked into doing the job on-line.

     The USPS web site is enormous, but relatively easy to navigate. I found the page quickly, and filled out the form. I clicked finish and the damn thing asked for  a one dollar transaction fee. Hmmm, they never ask for that in the PO. I thought a computer was supposed to improve productivity, and reduce costs. Each name cost me another buck on the credit card. I saved the transactions, and went about packing.

     The result of the new on-line system is totally unsatisfactory. Here is what happened:

  1. The mail continued to come to my old address for one week beyond the asked for shut off date.
  2. It’s been eleven days since I left home, and fourteen days since I filed my on-line change, and the mail is still not coming.

     If this on-line system were implemented in the private sector it would have worked like a charm.  The USPS has some of the most sophisticated automation systems in the world. It knows about computers, they have used them for years. So why can’t they get something as simple as changing an address? They did okay when it was a paper system.

   The supporters of big Government argue that the USPS is not a government run service. Why then, does Congress have to approve every move the USPS tries to implement? If they want to change the price of a stamp, it takes a congressional approval. If they try to change work rules to get concessions from the union, it takes a congressional approval, and Congressmen don’t like upsetting unions.

     Imagine a Public Option Health Care System that works like the USPS. I see a nightmare. I see a dollar charge for every on-line appointment I make with a doctor. I see a major delay in getting satisfaction because of the inability of the bureaucrats to run anything. I see the administrators going to Congress to beg for money to continue the job. I see the American people being taxed to death to pay for a system that gives nothing in return but health improving stress.

What do you see?

3 Responses

  1. Joe & Peggy I hope the kids don’t see your rant because they will tell you it is time to pay all your bills and such on line. I have actually looked into it. But decided at this time, to do absolutely nothing and be just like our government and be inept. Think they will care? Penny

  2. I really HATE Frankfort’s post office. I will drive to Matteson to mail anything that really needs to get there. At Matteson, the staff actually seems happy to help you out and are always pleasant. If I could change my mail delivery to Matteson, I would. Hmmmm….perhaps I need to secede(?) from Frankfort? We are actually unincorporated anyway! As far as the health care issue, I will assume my usual stance (head buried in sand).

  3. Oh my goodness. Don’t even get me started on the PO. One year, I set up a PO Box for a business that I had. I ordered it online. I went in there to go get the keys and they didn’t even know how to set it up because it was an online transaction. It took them, no lie, like an hour. I was holding up the entire PO line. Then after 6 months, I wanted to close it. So I went in there and they told me that they had no record of my PO Box. I had tried previously, like a week before, to get any mail, but the locks had changed. I figured that was due to the fact that my box had expired and I had not renewed it. So I went to close it and they said “you never had a box here”. Really??? I was getting mail there for like 5 months. I tried to give back the box keys and they said that I can’t give them back. Idiots. So I still have the keys. Apparently since they had no record of it, it never happened. I also did the address change thing online one time too and my mail never got forwarded. I actually called them up and complained and then my mail started coming to the proper place. I wish we had more options than the unorganized Post Office. And yeah, they can’t even operate the mail. How are they going to operate our health care?

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