What if USPS rounds included health checks for vulnerable Americans?
So here’s a potential win-win solution: Have letter carriers spend less time on delivering mail, much of which now involves fliers and solicitations. Instead, include in their responsibilities — “the swift completion of their appointed rounds” — home visits and basic health checks on the growing population of frail and elderly.
This may sound out-of-the-box, but it’s already done successfully and profitably in other countries, like France and Japan. Indeed, the idea that the USPS could get more involved in home health services — to fill a need and earn money — was suggested by the agency’s own Office of Inspector General in March.
So far, other solutions to fill the need for home healthcare have proved elusive. President Biden proposed $400 billion in his initial infrastructure plan to improve services for the homebound elderly, a feature that Congress didn’t retain. But Democrats’ congressional reconciliation budget resolution, currently under debate, could allot money to the cause.