Monday, October 31, 2011

More Advice for Obama from a Soviet Planner

To: Paul Gregory
From: Alexander Vaibakov
Former Head of Technology Planning
Gosplan USSR

October 31, 2011

Dear Mr. Gregory:

Thank you for publishing my offer of help to the DOE Energy Loan Program in your blog.

I see great opportunities for Gosplan planners like myself in the administration of President Obama. I still hope to hear back from Mr. Silver of the DOE. There is not much work in Russia for planners like me. My bosses got rich. I got unemployed.

My brother, Mikhail, wants to offer his services for your President’s health-care program. He worked in health planning, and he, better than anyone in your country, understands how a “single payer” system works. Our “single payer” was the consolidated state budget. We planned medical services according to norms. No patient had to pay, but our better doctors received a lot of expensive gifts.

Mikhail (who speaks good English) could work in one of Obama Care’s committees of health specialists.

At Gosplan, he allocated dentists and supplies of silver fillings among cities and regions. We had plenty of silver fillings in those days, and he ordered state dentists to fill at least one tooth per school student each year.

Our new private-practice dentists have sure earned a lot correcting all the damage this program caused, but don’t tell anyone about that.

Our Gosplan medical experts did not do much of what you call rationing. We planned the numbers of physicians, nurses, hospital beds and the like and then we let our people stand in line. Those with “connections” got what they needed. Those without waited and waited.

We set aside our best physicians and facilities, of course, for our nomenklatura. Your Congress and administration would like to hear how we did this. Surely they do not want to be lumped together with the common people.

Let’s stay in touch. I am sure the Obama administration will come to its senses and hire me and brother Mikhail. We could sure use the money.

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