Friday, August 14, 2009

Presidents say the darndest things

While no one will ever match the Shrub's endless flow of unintentional comedy (at least I hope not), our current president can break out with some accidental comedy gold as well.

I can't believe I missed this when it first happened. Earlier this week President O refuted that the public option in health insurance would crowd out private plans BY CITING THE POST OFFICE!

Thank you for that Mr. President.

"He (Obama) also disputed the notion that adding a government-run insurance plan into a menu of options from which people could pick would drive private insurers out of business, in effect making the system single-payer by default.

As long as they have a good product and the government plan has to sustain itself through premiums and other non-tax revenue, private insurers should be able to compete with the government plan, Obama said.

"They do it all the time," he said. "UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. ... It's the Post Office that's always having problems.""

Of course, UPS and FedEx have crushed the post office in the areas where they are allowed to compete (I think FedEx planes even help deliver a big chunk of the USPS's overnight mail) and the Post Office hemorrhages money while operating as a first class mail monopolist subject to Congressional oversight.

If private insurance companies were allowed the flexibility that UPS and FedEx have to produce and price products and sell them across state lines and the public option had to stand on its own two feet I would predict exactly the same outcome in health insurance. But I am not going to hold my breath waiting for that type of playing field to emerge anytime soon.