21 February 2008

Hillary's Scary Idea

When I arrived home at Casa de Suebob tonight, I was wet, tired and hungry, but not furious.

THAT didn't last long.

I got out of the car and went to the mailbox, which is one of the kind about the size and shape of a cereal box but with a flip-up lid on top.

It had been raining all day and the lid was left up, which turned the mailbox into sort of a lidless bucket. The wad of mail - and I do mean "wad" - inside had turned to a greyish ball the texture of papier mache.

It was the second time that had happened this month.

I stomped into the house, wrote a note, put it in a plastic ziplock bag and clipped it to the front of the mailbox.

"If it is raining, please put the lid down," I wrote, not adding "you stupid piece of donkey crap" as I was very, very tempted to do.

I did realize, however, that the incompetent letter carrier was in control of whether I receive my mail or not, so restraint was in order if I ever wanted to get my credit card bill.

Take a vast leap of imagination with me and let me say that this is why I am deeply skeptical about Universal Health Care.

While I love the idea of every American having access to good, affordable health care, I fear having employees that are on the public payroll in charge of it.

I think of every filthy, glacially slow and inept Social Security office I have ever visited; the barely functioning drones at the post office; the hell that is the DMV - and I think - "Do I want these people poking around in my innards if I get appendicitis?"

I would almost rather poke around my OWN insides should I get something that requires surgery on my front side. Or let the butcher at the carniceria down the street operate if I have to have another spinal surgery. He seems clean and good with his hands.

But federal employees? Hell no. I have seen what they can do with a handful of mail.


Kizz said...

Oh Lord yes SueBob.

whall said...

All good points - I made a very similar correlation to giving on a recent post.

Of course, I took about 36,000 more words to do it, so... :)

On the mailbox lid thing, if you own it, maybe add a spring? Or replace it with one that has a spring? Because you don't want all those bulk mail catalogs and credit card offers and identity theft scams to get damaged, right.

Mmm, maybe you shouldn't change the lid after all.. :)

Amy Urquhart said...

The American concept of universal health care confuses me...in Canada, doctors and nurses are not considered by everyday people as employees of the federal government.

Something that makes me go "hmmmm."


super des said...

A quote from the simpsons which I find kinda relevant:
"there are some days we don't let the line move at all. We call those weekdays."

It's talking about the DMV, but it still works.

claire said...

re: Amy U's comment - Why is it that Canada makes it work, but we get scared of the entire concept of universal health care? that's where i get confused. there are so many Americans that are afraid of universal health care, but it's not like this is uncharted territory. In fact, it's pretty common outside of these borders.
I don't know. I would like to believe that our level of quality health care wouldn't change since the health care provider's education will not be changing - they'll still have to go to medical school - but i guess we won't know until it actually happens.

Or until i move to Canada... cause it's starting to look pretty good up there.

This is not an attack, btw - please don't get the wrong idea!

Mandajuice said...

Well said! I think you just lost a liberal stripe or something though!

As a conservative, I would say that there's a world of difference between universal health care and universal ACCESS to health care.

Suzanne said...

In theory, that makes sense, except that medicare and medicaid are already significantly better administrated than HMOs or other private insurance. This is not to say that these government health insurance plans are well run (although they seem pretty decent), but rather they are more competent than whatever else is out there, so let's not add more HMOs or PPOs.

Anonymous said...

Since your comment "I love the idea" of everyone getting access to affordable healthcare seems to indicate that you are not opposed to universal healthcare as much as you hate the idea of it being run by federal employees -- not the federal government, mind you. Perhaps, part of the reason you have such horrible experiences with federally run operations is the huge push to outsource and underfund critical federal agencies. Do you enjoy the roads and bridges you drive on? Do you know they are designed and maintained by federal employees? Is our infrastructure crumbling and sorely in need of maintenance -- think Minnesota bridge or New Orlean's levees? Failures of the system are not solely the fault of those employeed by the federal government but by a government that intends to 'starve the beast' by not adequately funding the services it is in charge of. When something fails and the federal government takes a beating, it is actually feeding the drive to get rid of these agencies since private business are perceived as doing it so much better -- only they aren't and they actually end up costing the tax payers so much more (think Blackwater Security in Iraq, Halliburton, KBR in Iraq and Afghanistan). Those remaining in many of our gutted federal agencies are doing far more with far less. I generally enjoy reading your blog so I was a little surprised to see you go so vehemently after a seeming easy target.

Anonymous said...

Snark on:

What concerns me is our socialized military. At least we've got Blackwater over there in Iraq, being paid twenty-five times what we pay our troops. If only Blackwater could replace all the troops, then we'd not have settled for quadrupling the national debt under Bush. It'd be a hundred times greater. And I hate our socialized fire department. I'm for privatizing that. Then, only those who can afford fire-fighting will get fire-fighting!

Snark off.

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who's a nurse and she said that poor kids in America are dying of diseases today that we once associated with the Victorians. Of course, Jesus is dancing a jig for the taxes saved.

ByJane said...

I'm with the first anonymous (unless all three were the same anonymous--who knows). The PO is outsourcing delivery to itinerant carriers. Their only job qualification is that they have a working car (and presumably a driver's license, which they may or may not have bought in their country of origin). They do not have to be able to speak English or to read English, either, so no sense putting that note up. The days of the good ole postman who delivers come what may are gone. Now we should just be grateful that we get some of our mail--the pieces that the carrier of the day felt like carrying.

Anonymous said...

Man, I love me some liberals.

Folks,the USPS has never,repeat,never outsourced mail delivery. The mail carriers have a very large, very powerful union,and would fight outsourcing to their dying breath. I assume most of you are familiar with the concept of " urban myths " ???
The outsourcing of mail delivery is just such an urban myth. Doesnt happen,people. Do a little research on this new-fangled internets thingee yall love to jibber jabber on.

-Angel Apologist.

P.S. The US of A is now 300 million folks. If yall think we are going to jam all 300 mil into the same health care system, plus put every private insurer out of business ( which would unemploy someone yall know and love ), nationalize every hospital and clinic, make public employees out of every doctor, nurse, radioligist,pharmacist, etc.,etc.,etc. than yall must me on the proverbial pipe. Just some food for thought from a typical Orange County Redneck Republican.
- Angel Ap.

PunditMom said...

I hear you, but I still think we should make sure everyone has health care, even if it's not perfect.

As for your list, I'd add the people who work at the former INS to that -- they're the WORST bureaucrats!

Anonymous said...

Angel Apologist ...

Here is an article in one of the state's (Oregon) newspaper discussing the USPS' use of private contractors.


The quote "In reality, contracted mail delivery has always been part of the overall delivery process." was particularly enlightening in light of your comments.

You are right this thingee is really easy to use. You should try it some time.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the Beaverton Valley Times definitely has the story. Not only are they using contractors, but apparently this "Beaverton Valley" is an actual place,and not something from the fevered mind of David Lynch.

However, as a former member of the Mail Handlers Union, I can assure Mr. Anonomous Snarky Dude that in So. Cal., any attempt to sub-con mail would result in rioting in the streets. (We have actual streets here, you see. Paved and everything.

Much Love,

angel apologist.

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