Good enough for government work 

The Office of Management and Budget has a new program, the president's SAVE award -- "a contest for Federal employees to come up with the best idea to save taxpayer dollars and make the government perform more effectively and efficiently." After plowing through 84,670 awards they've selected a winner. Drumroll please:

Nancy Fichtner from Colorado thinks that veterans leaving VA hospitals should be able to take the medicine they’ve been using home with them instead of it being thrown away when they’re discharged.

As is the case in most hospitals all across the country, medicine that is used in the hospital is not given to patients to be brought home; instead, it is thrown out. “Currently the inpatient medications such as ointments, inhalers, eye drops, and other bulk items are being disposed of upon patient discharge.” Nancy proposes ending this waste and finding a way to allow this medicine to be used by those who need it.

This is the best idea they found? Color me underwhelmed. Not a terrible idea, but given that the House of Represenatives is prone to spending $1.1 trillion without batting an eyelash -- this idea seems the equivalent of an umbrella in a category 5 hurricane.

But here's an idea for next year's contest I'll give free of charge to any federal worker that wants it: Pay federal employees salary and benefits equivalent to their private counterparts, cut the size of the federal workforce significantly and put in place a system where federal workers who underperform are promptly terminated. Now that would save some real money.

Any takers? I won't hold my breath.

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Mark Hemingway

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