Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What Did the Post Office Ever Do to Senator Grassley?

In a Phone-in Town Hall Meeting about healthcare reform yesterday on C-SPAN, Iowa Republican Senator  Charles “Chuck” Grassley made an odd comment about Democratic efforts at instituting some form of “Public Option” as part of the reform bills pending before Congress. Said Senator Grassley:
 [T]heir goal is to have the government run everything. And I don’t think the government does a very good job of running the post office, for instance. So should they be running healthcare?”

Some Quick Research on the United Parcel Service (UPS) Web Site shows that you can mail a letter by UPS, from one American residence to another, for $12.16. And UPS's biggest competitor, FedEX, will pick up and deliver the same letter for about half that: just $6.87.

I’m Embarrassed to Tell You what Senator Grassley's whipping boy, the United States Postal Service—the government-run program that has delivered mail to every address in the United States since 1775—charges:


Given the Incomparable Differences between the government rates and those of the private sector, Senator Grassley’s comment is highly suspect. To say nothing of the denigration it delivered to your neighborhood USPS delivery person. 
The Government-run USPS will deliver your letter for about 
6.5% of the FedEX® cost. and about 3.62% of the UPS® cost.

If Opponents of Government-Insured Health Care want higher standards than those of the United States Postal Service, it’s fair to say that their demands are unreasonable. One might say that their perspective is ideologically blinded.

Senator Grassley Is the Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee. But his understanding of the role that the Federal Government plays in the daily lives of the American people raises some concerns. One wonders if the senator has any idea what it costs these days to mail a letter.

It’s a Mystery Why So Many Americans are convinced that we need private industry such as FedEX® and UPS® to make profits, while the Postal Service delivers everybody’s mail, with outstanding service, at a cheap price—and America gets to keep the profits....

Medicare and the Veterans Administration both deliver low-cost, affordable insurance to many of America's most-expensive citizens. And we don't hear the kind of complaints about Medicare that Senator Grassley just leveled at the Post Office.

I Bet You That Neither UPS® nor FedEX® Could Deliver all your letters for 44¢ a piece and come anywhere close to doing it as cheaply as the USPS does.

It’s All in How You Look at It. And ideology clearly plays a tremendous role in clouding many people's judgment.

But When It Comes to My Own Health Insurance, I’d rather go the 44¢ route—for United States Postal Service quality, at a United States Postal Service cost.

Ideology Aside, of course.....

[For a video recording of Senator Grassley's call-in Town Hall meeting on C-Span, go to this link:


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