From today’s Washington Examiner. Click here to read the full editorial:
With a few hours’ reflection, it’s become clear that Barack Obama’s reference to the U.S. Postal Service at yesterday’s health care town hall was the most revealing, and damaging, thing the president has said in the entire health care debate.
Explaining why he believes a public option would not crowd out and ultimately eliminate private insurance, Obama said, "My answer is that if the private insurance companies are providing a good bargain, and if the public option has to be self-sustaining…then I think private insurers should be able to compete. They do it all the time. I mean, if you think about it, UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? No, they are. It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems."
In one brief phrase, Obama planted the image in the minds of millions of people: Government health care = Post Office. Everyone has had the pleasant experience of waiting in line at the Post Office, and now Obama, whose intention was to dispel doubts about increasing government’s role in health care, has rhetorically linked health care reform with the Post Office experience….
…private carriers are forbidden by law from delivering first-class mail to your home; the Postal Service loses billions of dollars each year; the Postmaster General complains that he doesn’t have the "tools" to run the Postal Service like a business. But in the end, it is the image that Obama has put into the heads of millions of Americans, the one in which government health care looks like the Post Office, that could do grievous damage to the president’s dream of a government health care makeover.