NARFE president condemns postal reform bill

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.”

Reader comments

Fri, Apr 6, 2018

NARFE is nothing but a bunch of over paid bloats who take employee dues and then travel well and expensively and do nothing for the federal family. Lets look at pay freezes, ridiculous pay raises, soaring costs of health insurance premiums, inflation on basic goods that we all need. Monies are better saved for other purposes rather than maintaining a bloated staff of hot air spewing individuals. Unions used to be something now they are the second minion levels of management mouth pieces.

Tue, Apr 3, 2018

What has NARFE or other federal workers unions have done for their participants other than take a large chunk of earned income to pay the inflated bloats. There has been no real cost of living adjustments to off set the inflation of increasing medical premiums, living expenses gas, food, medicine. They talk and spew hot air.

Fri, Mar 30, 2018 Augisan Virginia

privatize the postal service - I avoid the post office. The workers are generally rude and lazy, at least the ones I have encountered. Buy your stamps at the grocery store

Fri, Mar 30, 2018

The Republicans pushing to take these types of illegal legislative actions through bypassing the deliberative committee process are doing this because they are unethical cronies of a corrupt Trump administration. This will all be reversed after the 2018 election when they loose big time. However, every effort should now be made to reverse these corrupt and criminal actions.

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