Public Comment

New: When in Rome...See How Well They Use Their Post Offices

By Antonio Rossmann
Monday September 10, 2012 - 08:15:00 PM

The four of us are here on sabbatical, the girls having just started school at St. Stephen's yesterday. Just before we left in August Gray Brechin brought our firm and the National Trust together to knock heads on the Berkeley Post Office threat. But rather than litigation, section 106 review, and the like, perhaps our Italian cousins offer a better solution. 

Here in Rome today we filed our application for a residence permit (permesso di soggiorno). The largest share (Euro 107.50 for each of us for six months) of the taxes and fees was for our health insurance. It took me four trips to the post office to get this right, and all four of us had to be present while they processed this most undigitally. 

But here is the beauty of it. The post office keeps people working and historic buildings occupied by selling national health insurance! Let's do as the Romans do and solve two pressing national problems at once. 

P.S. Do the math: US$135 per person for six months' health insurance. 


Antonio Rossmann is an attorney with a San Francisco environmental law firm and Lecturer in Water Resources Law at the University of California Berkeley, currently in Rome with his family.