Holland Where Healthcare Is Free For Everyone

English: Oktoberfest, Munich, GFDL, from Ukrai...

English: Oktoberfest, Munich, GFDL, from Ukrainian Wikipedia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Something happened today that has been playing on my mind since ten this morning. Peg and I were running errands and one of them was to drop off some documents with my financial advisor Joe. We stopped at the post office to buy stamps, and to post a document by Priority Mail. Joe’s office is just around the corner from the P.O. so I drove there to save a stamp and drop the asset inventory he asked for. I was looking for a parking space when a man stepped out from his car, it was Joe. I rolled down the window and handed him my package. What’s this he asked? It is the information you asked for. “How was your trip to Oktoberfest,” I asked?

“Eighteen days of hell,”  he answered.

“How so,” I asked?

“I had walking pneumonia the whole time, fever, and all.”

“What did you do about it?”

“I  stayed in Holland with a friend who took me to the local urgent care facility.”

“Free health care, how did it work?”

“They told me to put five tablespoons of sugar into some warm water and to drink it.”

“What? Are you kidding me?”

“Nope.”

“You came home with pneumonia and had it treated right?”

“Yes, and now I feel fine, but the trip was a total disaster.”

We wished each other a Happy Thanksgiving and he went to work; Peg and I continued our run of errands.

What has bothered me all day is the treatment he got in Europe, the fabulous continent, where health care is free for everyone.  Our Hope and Change President who is transforming us into Europe is on a path to treat us all with sugar-water, and to charge us a huge premium to do it.  I hope I can sleep tonight.

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?

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