House committee approves postal reform, rejects presidential appointments

By Bill McAllister – July 12, 2016
us-postal-service-house-bill-boost-stamp-prices_LinnsProspects for congressional approval of major postal reform legislation have sharply increased with the approval of a bill that would boost stamp prices and require postal retirees to depend on Medicare for most medical expenses.

The action by the House Oversight Committee on July 12 does not assure enactment of the measure, but it appeared to end any suggestion that the postmaster general would once again become a presidential appointee. The committee dropped that idea, part of an earlier draft, out of what one Capitol Hill staffer told Linn’s was “concern that it would have over politicized the Postal Service.”

“We’re not there yet,” stressed House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, when his panel approved the measure on a voice vote.

The bill must win approval of the full House and the Senate, which has its own version of postal reform legislation.

But equally important, Chaffetz said, will be what the Congressional Budget Office rules will be the impact the measure has on the overall federal budget.

Chaffetz said that ruling would be critical for the bill to win approval from many House Republicans.

By requiring retired postal workers to depend on Medicare as their primary health insurance, the bill will increase that program’s costs.

But it will also greatly decrease the costs the Postal Service now has to pay for its retirees’ health care. Those retiree costs have largely created a fiscal crisis for the USPS, which has a $56.8 billion deficit in unpaid health care costs.

Source: House committee approves postal reform, rejects presidential appointments | Linns.com

7 thoughts on “House committee approves postal reform, rejects presidential appointments

  1. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    Florida State Retirees Chapter
    Past or current office held, if any
    Former Sec-Treas Pgh Metro Area Local Candidate, Director Retirees Department
    While the provisions of this bill would have an onerous affect on retirees, what is most appalling is the APWU’s failure to reject this out of hand, saying it could be supported with some changes. It appears that this administration, of which the Retirees Department Director is a part of, is willing to place the burden of postal reform on the backs of postal retirees and their survivors. We need a Director who will stand up and fight for our rights, and not go along to get along. Elect Desi Neurohr Director Retirees Department

  2. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    Inland Empire Area Local #338 (Spokane)
    Past or current office held, if any
    Past VP, Sec/Treasurer; current editor and steward
    I’ve recently learned all I want to know about Medicare as I moved my mom from there to Medicaid to get her in a nursing home. Medicare Part A pays 100% for the first 20 days. Everything after that is Medicare Part B, which pays 80%. This is why we’ll need to purchase Medicare supplemental insurance. This stuff gets expensive. Part D is about drugs, and we’ll need to get a supplemental insurance to cover that which part D doesn’t pay. Again, this can get expensive. Strap on your seatbelts.

  3. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    APWU Local Springfield, MA Area local
    Past or current office held, if any
    Past President and retiree
    You do not have to drop your FEHBP to get any of the parts of Medicare. As Bobby says, it is a mistake to drop your FEHBP, for any reason.

  4. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    Springfield, MA Area Local 497
    Past or current office held, if any
    Past President and retiree
    Every person who hits 65 is automatically covered by Medicare part “A”. Let’s not confuse “A” with “B”. Medicare part “A” covered the majority of my wife’s hospital bill. The Blue Cross Blue Shield (which is my FEHBP) covered the rest (1800.00+). I did not feel that paying the premiums for Part “B” was a legitimate need.

    There are many who want Part “B”. That’s up to them. The USPS wants every one in Part “B” as it reduces their costs.

    The idea that USPS financial problems are caused by those who do not belong to part “B” is BS, pure and simple.

    This Reform plan sucks! We should get up online petitions as we have done in the past and let our members of Congress and U.S. Senators know what we want, and don’t want. This Reform is no better than what got us where we are.

    Our Health insurance is a benefit, and we shouldn’t let the USPS and Congress screw with it. Entitlements and benefits are the first thing that they want to cut, or eliminate. This is what has so many voters pissed.

  5. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    Southwest Coastal Area Local Retiree Chapter
    Past or current office held, if any
    Retiree Chapter President
    I would not drop your Federal Health Plan. Medicare does not cover all cost. We had a retiree drop it and about seven months after she retired she had medical bills exceeding $4,000 not covered by medicare.

    I highly recommend Medicare A and B . Most of our plans now does not require Medicare D.

    Many of our Federal Health Plans reduce co pays when we are on Medicare A and B.

  6. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    APWU - Walla Walla, Washington
    Retiree health care, just what does the new proposal mean? I thought dropping insurance for Medicare when my wife and I are both eligible. Is that a bad strategy and why? Thank you.

  7. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    APWU - Carson City, Nevada
    This is an abomination. One of the reasons I stayed at usps as long as I did was the retirement/health benefits. If mine are changed I expect the house and senate to deal with the same thing.

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