NARFE president condemns postal reform bill
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Mar 29, 2018
Lawmakers last week introduced a bipartisan postal reform bill that aims to address the U.S. Postal Service's significant net losses and missed payments on its retiree health care prefunding, but the president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association says this legislation is not the right solution.
The 2018 Postal Service Reform Act (S. 2629)—introduced by Democratic Sens. Tom Carper (Del.) Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Republican Jerry Moran (Kansas) — would require U.S. Postal Service annuitants to enroll in Medicare in addition to their standard health benefits program.
According to NARFE President Richard Thissen this means that a 90-year-old postal retiree would have to pay an additional $1,600 or more per year in health insurance premiums to Medicare in order to keep their existing retiree health insurance plan.
“This proposal seeks to balance the books of the United States Postal Service (USPS) on the backs of postal retirees,” Thissen said in a statement, adding, “This requirement aims to lower USPS health insurance costs by shifting primary responsibility for retiree health coverage from USPS to Medicare, at a cost of $10.7 billion to taxpayers.”
Instead, Thissen said lawmakers should consider increasing the price of postage “to a more reasonable amount,” and allow USPS to pay for its health insurance bills when they are due, instead of the having the prefunding requirement.
The bill’s sponsors have requested a fast-track process to put the legislation in place.
“Not only is the substance of the bill troubling, but so is the fast-track process the bill’s sponsors are pursuing," Thissen said. He continued, "They have sought to bypass the deliberative committee process completely, preventing the type of thoughtful attention, thorough review and common-sense amendments that committee consideration allows. We urge Senate leaders to reject their request to do so.”