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lame54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:07 PM
Original message
Would You Want Health Care Run Like The Post Office?
http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/real-time-n...

Bill Maher:

The thing is that endless variety only exists because Americans pay taxes to a government which maintains roads, irrigates fields, over sees the electrical grid and everything else but enables the modern American supermarket to carry forty seven varieties of frozen breakfast pastries.

Of course it's easy to tear government down. Ronald Reagan used to say the nine most terrifying words in the English language were "I'm from the government and I'm here to help". But that was before "I'm Sarah Palin, now show me the launch codes".

You know the stimulus package was attacked as typical tax and spend, you know like repairing bridges is left wing stuff. Ooh there the liberals go again. Always wanting to get across the river.

Folks, the people are the government. The first responders who put out your fires. That's your government. The ranger who shoos pedophiles out of the bathroom. The postman who delivers your porn. I mean how stupid is it when people say "Oh yeah that's all we need. The federal government telling Detroit how to make cars, or Wells Fargo how to run a bank. You want them to look like the Post Office?"

Yeah. Actually. You mean..you mean the place that takes a note in my hand in L.A. on Monday and gives it to my sister in Jersey on Wednesday for forty two cents? Well let me be the first to say I would be thrilled if America's health care system was anywhere near as functional as the Post Office.

The truth is, recent years have made me much more wary of government doing the opposite. Of stepping aside and letting unregulated private enterprise run things it is plainly too greedy to trust with, like Wall Street, like rebuilding Iraq. Like the way Republicans always frame the health care debate by saying health care decisions should be made by doctors and patients, not government bureaucrats. Leaving out the fact that health decisions aren't made by doctors, patients or bureaucrats. They're made by insurance companies.

Insurance companies. Which are a lot like hospital gowns. Chances are your ass isn't covered.
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bbinacan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
1. The Post Office sucks
Mail left Feb 26 from NC and has still not arrived here in PA.
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gristy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. I think the USPS is great.
Maher has it right. Two days first class delivery. Forty-two cents. What a deal!
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. We have a great postal service
and the rates are the cheapest in the world.
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FreakinDJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #14
39. Tell them just try mailing a letter in any other country
its like spinning the rollett wheel as to if it will ever get there
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POAS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:15 PM
Response to Original message
2. Health care like the post office? Doctors making house calls, yeah!
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KewlKat Donating Member (867 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Would they get paid the same rate?
.42 cents?
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POAS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. :-) n/t
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Chemical Bill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #2
25. Six days a week! n/t
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theoldman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:16 PM
Response to Original message
4. I always enjoy listening to Bill Maher.
Can you imagine what our society would be like of we had no government? Even a group of chimpanzees is organized from the leader on down to the babies. People forget that our government is elected.
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frogcycle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
5. good points, but
not going to influence anybody

The anti-government crowd - and I am starting to think of them as akin to the militias in Montana dodging the black helicopters - will never believe government can be good for anything.

It is a fundamental position in their psyche: the rejection of "society" - that is, anyone other than themselves, as fundamentally evil. That is why ALL social programs, including roadbuilding, police and firefighter service, you name it, are to them a bad thing.

They think somehow that they are being self-sufficient when they take money from an insurance company and abide by its policies. They are incapable of seeing the irony in this.

That these cretins have collected into covens, or klans, or whatever they call them, and managed to elect some of their own to congress is a travesty.
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Gormy Cuss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
6. It would be a vast improvement over our current system.
At least most of the time the post office delivers as promised.
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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:32 PM
Response to Original message
7. EXACTLY
Edited on Sat Mar-07-09 08:33 PM by JerseygirlCT
And if there are some slackers (and there would be - you should see the guy who "delivers" to our office - unless it's raining, or he thinks the load is too heavy, or, or, or... he asks us to come to another building and pick it up for him. Man, it's time for you to retire, bud.) well, what makes anyone think that doesn't happen elsewhere?

But, yes, on the whole, it's quite efficient and cost-effective. As he says, a whole lot better than almost everything that's been privatized of late.
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Faryn Balyncd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:44 PM
Response to Original message
8. In several decades, I have never had a lost piece of mail.


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tabatha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:28 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. I have never had a problem with USPS
either receiving or sending, over 3 decades.

No place runs perfectly.
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unapatriciated Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I wish I could say the same
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unapatriciated Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:23 AM
Response to Reply #11
18. need to correct my own post....
I thought the poster said UPS.... no problems with USP.
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deaniac21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
9. Maher is such an intellectual!
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Upfront Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:22 PM
Response to Original message
15. NO!
Like SS.
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Stellabella Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 10:30 PM
Response to Original message
16. What's wrong with the post office?
They deliver millions of pieces of mail every day, very accurately. Maher is right; the government, when NOT RUN INTO THE GROUND by repukes, does a great job.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. ask people from chicago that question, and you'll probably get some answers...
especially from zipcode 60625.
we had a FANTASTIC mailman named Mike, who knew pretty much everyone on our block, and probably every block of his route...but when he was on vacation, it was just godawful. we'd get the wrong mail, or no mail...and we'd have mail go missing that people had sent. and i don't think that there ws one time that i was at the ravenswood post office that the line didn't extend to the door, if not out it.
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Raine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #17
32. Sounds like where I am
Edited on Sun Mar-08-09 07:46 PM by Raine
I used to have a good postman now this last one gets everyone wrong, I get other people's packages (which I deliver to them) and they get mine. To get what's yours you have to depend on the "goodness" of your neighbors and mine aren't very good ... they tend to keep whatever is delivered them whether it belongs to them or not. :argh: I'm having to put in a claim for a package which shows it was delivered ... only thing is ... IT WASN'T DELIVERED TO ME!!! :argh:

edit: typo
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. if you call the post office and tell them that you have someone else's mail...
they send someone out to collect it and re-deliver it.
i got so fed up with the lousy service while mike was on vacation, that i called about having someone else's mail- they sent a manager out to get it...and our house was in the far corner of that zipcode- in fact there was a different(and better) post office for the adjacent zipcode(still the same city-chicago) that was much closer- i could never figure out why our neigborhood wasn't part of that zipcode. anyway- the manager has to drive several miles thru afternoon rush hour traffic to come to our house, where i hand him 1 letter for the house next door to ours. he wasn't happy. but the deliveries started getting a whole lot better. :evilgrin:
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Raine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. THANKS for the helpful info
:thumbsup:
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 07:10 AM
Response to Original message
19. I'd like to see the rest of my fellow Americans have the same care as I do
My experience with the Veterans Administration makes me inclined to think that I would like our health care industry take a few clues from them. I go see the doc, most times I'm in his office before my appointment time and most times I'll be in there with him for at least 20 to 30 minutes sometimes even longer as he doesn't seem to be bothered with time constraints. If he has any questions about my health he'll send me up a few floors or down a couple to another room where they will do whatever test that needs to be done for him and me to know what the problem is. All in the same day and all without my having to get in my car and driving anywhere else. Communications between one doctor and the other is top notch too. I spent a week in the VA Hospital with a blood clot in my leg and was treated with respect, kindness and care like I couldn't imagine getting at any other privately run hospital, if my few stints in a private hospital are any indication of, that is.
I can go down and be seen right now at any time day or night and if its anything to do with pain in the chest they'll have an EKG hooked up so fast as to make my head spin.
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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 07:15 AM
Response to Original message
20. I think, given the mission, the post office does a great job.
As an ebay seller for more than 10 years I've shipped thousands and thousands of packages and can count any problem (loss, damage, etc.) on one hand and those issues were quickly resolved. If healthcare ran as well as my experience with the postal service, I'd be very happy.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 07:50 AM
Response to Original message
21. But what if insurance companies ran the post office?
For starters, they would do actuarial studies to determine statistical patterns associated with problem deliveries, and they would certainly find that homes with dogs accounted for a significant percentage. Therefore dog owners would be denied home delivery as a group, regardless of whether individual dog owners kept their pets inside. They would then have to hire lots of people to investigate whether postal service clients were actually telling the truth when they claimed that they were not dog owners.

Analysis of delivery costs would quickly establish that it is far cheaper to deliver mail to blocks of urban apartments than to suburbs or rural areas. Therefore delivery tracts would be established based on population density, and people would be charged different rates accordingly. Whenever you move, what you pay for postage would change. They would then have to hire a lot more people to track this information.

A mail order business located in a small town or other thinly populated delivery tract that had a high volume of transactions would quickly find itself in trouble. Its neighbors would be encouraged to shut it down or get their own mail service cut off. Alternatively, the whole tract's postage rates might be tripled.

The analogies with how our health care system is currently run are obvious. The Post Office may well be top-heavy with overprivileged managers supervising not enough overworked employees, but at least they have the basic common sense to realize that it is lots cheaper to just provide universal service at rates based on overall average costs than to waste millions of dollars attempting to pinpoint people who are undeserving of regular mail delivery.

If we have to pay the world's highest per capita rate for health care, can't we at least spend it directly on health care delivery instead of paying people to tell us that we can't have it? This amounts to adding negative value to our economy, insurance companies being analogous to people who tap into power lines to siphon off energy that is traveling from producers to consumers.
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Prometheus Bound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 08:07 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. Excellent!
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #22
24. Free to anybody who wants to use it
Not making a living off of my screeds; just want to spread the memees.
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 08:15 AM
Response to Original message
23. I have nothing but admiration for the Post Office. I would love to have even
an eighth of their efficiency in the medical/healthcare "system". What we have now is for-greed and not in the interest of the people who depend on it.

mark
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patriotvoice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
26. Employs 750,000 and has a bi-weekly payroll of $1.6 billion, all while...
remaining "profit-neutral." Quite an efficient, controlled organization.

http://usgovinfo.about.com/blpostalservice.htm
USPS -- One Big and Busy Outfit
Today, the U.S. Postal Service:
* Delivered mail to 134 million delivery addresses, including 20 million post office boxes. About 1 million new addresses are added each year.
* Carried more mail to more people over a larger geographic area than any other country
* Served 7 million customers daily at one of 38,000 postal retail outlets
* Employed 750,000 career mail carriers, including 235,985 veterans and 47,937 employees with disabilities
* Leased more than 27,000 facilities at a cost of $727 million a year, providing tax revenue to thousands of communities
* Paid $1.6 billion in employee salaries and benefits every two weeks
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oustemnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
27. Lamentably, the USPS is feeling the pinch these days
Not surprising, given how many other modes of communication there are these days.

They're talking about only delivering mail five days a week now, and I've noticed that mail boxes have been disappearing from street corners, presumably due to cutbacks.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 10:32 AM
Response to Original message
28. You've got to get it out of your head that single-payer means "run by government"
All that it means is that it's PAID by government.

Single-payer health care (as it is in Canada and everywhere else) is run by DOCTORS and non-profit hospital boards.

There are ZERO "bureaucrats deciding what care we get". There is NO "rationing". There is no haggling with government agencies of any kind.

I can walk into any hospital, clinic or doctors office, get basic treatment, and walk back out without spending hours on the phone, filling out a form, paying a cent in fees or expect to get a bill in the mail.

THIS is single payer. Our government realized a LONG time ago that a healthy population is worth FAR more than enriching a few people who add NOTHING to the quality of your health.
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jtrockville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. I'd MUCH rather have DOCTORS decide my care than INSURANCE AGENTS
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #28
40. Show me any activity that the U.S.government pays for that
it does not issue rules and regulations.
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
29. My mail gets delivered right on time, I can buy a stamp or mail a package any time I want
The mail lady is a nice person, the folks at the local post office are efficient, courteous, and reliable. They provide exactly the services they advertise and they do it at a reasonable price. So yes, I would like to see health care run like the Post Office.

Oh, and Bill Maher is an obnoxious asshole who's opinion is worth dog shit in general and even less in this case.
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. Re-read the original post; I think you rather missed the point. (NT)
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Roadless Donating Member (110 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 07:46 PM
Response to Original message
33. I'd prefer that to insurer-authority over medical decisions. nm
nm
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tangent90 Donating Member (787 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 08:00 PM
Response to Original message
34. Your forty two cents doesn't even come close to covering the cost of delivering that letter.
I love the post office but I'm not dumb enough to pretend it's anything like a self-supporting enterprise.
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JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
36. What bullshit
People need to listen to those in Canada and Europe who have socialized medicine.
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FreakinDJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. Yes We do - They have GREAT Healthcare in Europe
Canada is probably the worst example and why RATpubliCONs keep pointing to it.

Obviously - you have never had a loved one get sick in this country or are blind to the facts
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JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #38
41. Excuse me, but my billionaire ex-bosses
Are from Canada, and when I walked them through the new health insurance they purchased for thier home office, they thought Americans were nuts for submitting to this. I actually sat and went item for item down their list, with everything side by side. It's clearly superior to what we have here, and I'd get sick in Canada before getting sick here... if I had the choice. If the Republics are pointing and talking, they are lying.
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FreakinDJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. Sorry - thought you were taking a shot at Canadian Healthcare
been a couple of articles posted on DU in the last couple of days claiming the "Perils of Canadian Healthcare"

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JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. I think they are all lies...
When a billionaire Canadian prefers the socialized medicine in Canada to what we have here, it makes one wonder.

:hi:

Sorry for the return snark :) No harm, no foul :)
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