By Nicole O. Coulter, Associated Fibs
The United States Postal Service announced a new marketing initiative today timed to coincide with the passage of Obamacare last month. Beginning April 10th, the post office will provide appendectomies on Saturdays at their branches, in lieu of normal mail delivery.
At a joint news conference, the Postmaster and Surgeon Generals introduced the measure as a collaborative attempt to simultaneously provide quality healthcare to 30 million previously uninsured Americans while shaving some $350 billion off the Post Office’s annual budget shortfall.
The USPS also unveiled a new stamp celebrating the oft-maligned appendix, which, many Americans don’t realize is a three-inch-long, tube-like organ that frequently becomes inflamed and sometimes even bursts. The new stamp depicts its pre-ruptured, perfectly healthy state.
”We really had no choice,” said Postmaster General Jerry Newman. “We were hopelessly drowning in red ink. We had to upgrade our accounts receivable to sustain our high-quality delivery the other five days of the week. We felt that performing appendectomies as a value-added service would forestall layoffs among our elite corps of professionals.”
Business experts questioned the move but gave the Post Office thumbs up for creativity. “They really are trying to move up the value chain,” said Wall Street Kernal business editor Sally Post. “The fact is, despite horrific increases in stamp prices, fewer people are mailing letters. The postal service must expand beyond its core inefficient service and brand into other areas of potential failure.”
Surgeon General Meredith Grey said she signed off on the proposal only after assurances from President Obama that the extra service would be limited to removing appendixes, not other defective and useless body parts. “We feel the postal carriers already are in fragile mental conditions with the stress of potential branch closures,” Grey said. “At this juncture, it would be premature to allow them to operate more broadly.”
For his part, President Obama pointed to his concern about unnecessary tonsillectomies being performed by mail carriers, and signed an executive order stipulating that no such profit-making activity occur under his watch. “We have a long, proud tradition of losing money in the Federal government,” Obama said. “Everyone knows that removing tonsils is big business. I will not endorse anything that could be confused with free market capitalism.”
Mail carrier union head Gladys Horton said the union grudgingly accepted the surgery requirement as a concession to avoid Saturday branch closures, as well as to prevent the grim prospects of potentially fewer shifts of perpetually unhappy people. “We’ll deal with it,” Horton said. “We’re not happy about it, frankly. I mean, say someone comes in five minutes before closing time and wants their appendix out. Well, we’ve already cleared out our cash registers by then and locked the doors. So, this could get ugly. But certainly not as ugly as if we actually got laid off.”
Indeed, Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano agreed that preventing layoffs among postal employees would be a life saver down the road – regardless of how many ruptured appendixes they removed. “If we can keep a disgruntled former postal worker from going postal, it will be well worth the cost,” she said.