By Ken Garner – December 2, 2016
Earlier this week a group of industry representatives met with Emily Murray, Staff Director of the Ways & Means Health Subcommittee to discuss the prospects of H.R. 5714. During the meeting the group learned that the Ways & Means Committee had serious concerns about the bill and would not be inclined to support its passage. Ways & Means Committee is responsible for, among other things, the management of Medicare and a principal provision of H.R. 5714 involved moving USPS retirees to Medicare.
The Ways & Means Committee concerns included:
- It would be a raid on Medicare
- The “score” was $2B short on what it would cost Medicare (of course the bill would contribute over $2B making the overall impact a wash).
- Forcing postal retirees to take Medicare would be a first (even though they have paid into Medicare for years – and, the unions supported this move).
- They had not been consulted about this fix, which was in their jurisdiction.
Without the support of the Ways & Means Committee the future for this bill, or any helpful legislation from this Congress, is highly doubtful.