Thursday, August 13, 2009

Obama Compares Public Health Care Option To The Success Of The US Postal Service

In the below clip, answering a Town Hall questioner who worries about the public health care "option" suffocating out private insurance, President Obama replies with an analogy to the package and letter shipping industry, "UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. Right? It's the post office that's always having problems."

We saw this live and quickly thought to ourselves three things:

1) Shock Phase: "wha, wha, what?! Did you just make the argument that government insurance would be akin to and inherently flawed like the US Postal Service? I'm sure someone in your office vetted this analogy ahead of time; how did you let this happen?"

2) Practical Phase: "I don't often wait in lines at FedEx (actually, they create all sorts of convenient innovative alternatives to waiting in lines) but I sure do at the post office. Extrapolating that to health care..."

3) Realization Phase: "In fact, UPS and FedEx are not able to compete with the USPS in the USPS's core business of regular mail because the USPS operates in a manner that creates value destructive returns on capital; so is your point that public health care will similarly crowd out private health care in core functions?"


This whole debate frightens us on a number of levels, not least of which is that the proponents of public health care seem to want the debate not to be about public health care itself, but to be about their perception of fake anger at the Town Hall meetings. As if to convince the majority of America, which is legitimately worried about the creeping death of socialism, that their worries are illegitimate because the Town Hall protests are too angry and too organized.

Who cares about Town Hall meetings? These distraction arguments have nothing to do with the actual merits of health care reform or socialized health care. TILB will address the actual merits tomorrow (though the Whole Foods founder and CEO did a great job elucidating the dangers of public health care already).

For now, we leave you with the source clip for President Obama's frightening analogy of public health care to the US Postal Service:

Hat Tip: Ernie.