NARFE to Congress: Retirees Should Not be Responsible for Fixing the Postal Service’s Finances.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jessica Klement
July 12, 2016 703-838-7760
  jklement@narfe.org

Alexandria, VA – In advance of consideration of the Postal Reform Act of 2016 by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) President Richard G. Thissen urged members of the Committee to oppose the bill, issuing the following statement:

"There are simple solutions to the financial problems facing the U.S. Postal Service, such as eliminating the prefunding requirement outright, but this bill takes a more complicated route – forcing postal retirees and survivors who are satisfied with their current health insurance coverage to pay another $122 per month or more to keep it.

"The reason for doing so is unconvincing. It is simply to save money for the Postal Service in a manner that avoids more politically difficult decisions.

 "This is not the only path forward. Why not allow the USPS to raise the price of postage to a more reasonable amount, instead of continuing to heavily subsidize the business of bulk mailers? Why not allow the USPS to ship alcohol or provide more financial services? Why not allow the USPS to pay its health insurance bills when they are due, and not before, by ending the burdensome prefunding requirement? Unfortunately, this bill avoids making those more difficult decisions, and instead places the full burden of balancing the Postal Service’s books on the backs of 76,000 postal retirees.

"Postal retirees should not now, after finishing long careers with the Postal Service, be threatened with the loss of their health insurance entirely if they do not buy additional coverage through Medicare. This is not only unfair to postal retirees, but it also sets a dangerous precedent for all federal retirees.

"Our alternative is simple, fair and reasonable: maintain automatic enrollment of current postal retirees into Medicare Part B, but provide them with a short opt-out window of 60 or 90 days. Without this option, the bill breaks a promise regarding postal retiree health benefits and replaces the individual postal retiree’s choice of health insurance with a paternalistic requirement, at significant cost to the Medicare program.”

NARFE President Thissen’s letter urging members of the committee to oppose the bill is available here. Prior to introduction of the bill, Thissen provided more extensive comments on the discussion draft of the bill. Those comments are available here.

# # #

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), one of America’s oldest and largest associations, was founded in 1921 with the mission of protecting the earned rights and benefits of America’s active and retired federal workers. The largest federal employee/retiree organization, NARFE represents the retirement interests of nearly five million current and future federal annuitants, spouses and survivors

National Active and Retired

FEDERAL EMPLOYEES Association

NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association) 606 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314, Phone: (703) 838-7760, Fax: (703) 838-7785.

 

This is the only website that reflects the official opinions and positions of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE). Opinions and/or positions that appear on any other site bearing NARFE's name or seal are not necessarily those of NARFE. Click here for Privacy Statement.   NARFE has been certified by Dun & Bradstreet.

NARFE to Congress: Retirees Should Not be Responsible for Fixing the Postal Service’s Finances.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jessica Klement
July 12, 2016 703-838-7760
  jklement@narfe.org

Alexandria, VA – In advance of consideration of the Postal Reform Act of 2016 by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) President Richard G. Thissen urged members of the Committee to oppose the bill, issuing the following statement:

"There are simple solutions to the financial problems facing the U.S. Postal Service, such as eliminating the prefunding requirement outright, but this bill takes a more complicated route – forcing postal retirees and survivors who are satisfied with their current health insurance coverage to pay another $122 per month or more to keep it.

"The reason for doing so is unconvincing. It is simply to save money for the Postal Service in a manner that avoids more politically difficult decisions.

 "This is not the only path forward. Why not allow the USPS to raise the price of postage to a more reasonable amount, instead of continuing to heavily subsidize the business of bulk mailers? Why not allow the USPS to ship alcohol or provide more financial services? Why not allow the USPS to pay its health insurance bills when they are due, and not before, by ending the burdensome prefunding requirement? Unfortunately, this bill avoids making those more difficult decisions, and instead places the full burden of balancing the Postal Service’s books on the backs of 76,000 postal retirees.

"Postal retirees should not now, after finishing long careers with the Postal Service, be threatened with the loss of their health insurance entirely if they do not buy additional coverage through Medicare. This is not only unfair to postal retirees, but it also sets a dangerous precedent for all federal retirees.

"Our alternative is simple, fair and reasonable: maintain automatic enrollment of current postal retirees into Medicare Part B, but provide them with a short opt-out window of 60 or 90 days. Without this option, the bill breaks a promise regarding postal retiree health benefits and replaces the individual postal retiree’s choice of health insurance with a paternalistic requirement, at significant cost to the Medicare program.”

NARFE President Thissen’s letter urging members of the committee to oppose the bill is available here. Prior to introduction of the bill, Thissen provided more extensive comments on the discussion draft of the bill. Those comments are available here.

# # #

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), one of America’s oldest and largest associations, was founded in 1921 with the mission of protecting the earned rights and benefits of America’s active and retired federal workers. The largest federal employee/retiree organization, NARFE represents the retirement interests of nearly five million current and future federal annuitants, spouses and survivors

National Active and Retired

FEDERAL EMPLOYEES
Association



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NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association) 606 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314, Phone: (703) 838-7760, Fax: (703) 838-7785.

 

This is the only website that reflects the official opinions and positions of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE). Opinions and/or positions that appear on any other site bearing NARFE's name or seal are not necessarily those of NARFE. Click here for Privacy Statement.   NARFE has been certified by Dun & Bradstreet.