Bipartisan Postal Reform Bill Passes Through Committee

WASHINGTON – Today, with a bipartisan voice vote, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved H.R. 756, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2017, as amended. Upon approval, the bill’s original cosponsors, including Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Reps. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Dennis Ross (R-FL), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), and Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA), released the following statement:
Bipartisan Postal Reform Bill Passes Through Committee

Bipartisan Postal Reform Bill Passes Through Committee

“The Postal Service is in dire need of real reforms, and this bill puts it on the course toward financial stability. These desperately needed policy changes prevent a taxpayer bailout of the Postal Service and will save billions of dollars over the next decade. We are pleased to see this bill pass through committee and urge the House to follow suit as soon as possible.” 
Click here to view a summary of the bill. Click here to view notable changes from legislation introduced during the 114th Congress.
The bill, first introduced January 31, 2017, addresses unfunded liabilities of the United States Postal Service (USPS), makes reforms to keep mailing costs affordable for consumers, and encourages innovation, all without additional borrowing from the U.S. taxpayer. The Committee followed up on introduction in early February with a legislative hearing on the bill and the continued need for postal reform.
In May 2016, the committee held a hearing to examine the need for timely and comprehensive postal reform legislation. In June 2016, the committee introduced H.R. 5714, the Postal Service Reform Act. In July 2016, the legislation overwhelmingly passed out of committee.
What the bill does:
Makes USPS more efficient:
  • Cuts Costs: CBO Score, Unified Budget Savings of at least $2.2B
  • Streamlines and Secures Mail Delivery through cluster boxes for eligible businesses, voluntary residential conversions
  • Strengthens Accountability by holding Postmaster General accountable for results
  • Improves Oversight by having the Postal Regulatory Commission review postage rates, mail delivery performance
Keeps promises to customers, employees:
  • Guarantees Pension Liability by making clear USPS is responsible for accrued pension liabilities
  • Improves Employee Health Care by improving coordination of care through a USPS-only health care plan and Medicare integration
  • Emphasizes Local Service Opportunities by having USPS provide state, local, and tribal government services at local post offices, reducing the cost of service and raising postal revenue
  • Supports Rural Access by obtaining local community input on post office closure

28 thoughts on “Bipartisan Postal Reform Bill Passes Through Committee

  1. I don’t understand why retirees should be forced into Medicare. From what I understand, (unless I’m reading it wrong) the PO is still going to be making payments to retirees health benefits, just on a different schedule. So if payments are still going to be paid why are retirees being forced to Medicare?

  2. This bill isn’t law yet. I wouldn’t worry too much about it. PO has been begging for reform for 7 years or more and nothing has happened. Just more politicians using the COLCPE $ or whatever it is called now to show the unions how much they back them. Besides, apparently we are making all kinds of $ now thanks to Amazon, so why the need for reform anyway? The prefunding ended last September with no consequences from not paying it, so screw it. We move forward, and are still in business. It’s only numbers, and if we were really broke, your paychecks would have bounced by now. Mine hasn’t. Stop worrying people.

  3. Does anyone here believe that current retirees who don’t have
    medicare will be grandfathered in, as they should be?
    No current retiree planned for this.

    • Federal employees continually vote against their interest. Every time an republican control Washington they attack federal employees benefits. You have not seen the worse yet. Republicans have been forecasting eliminating matching funds for TSP, the social security supplement and reducing workman compensation also elimination of unions. I am a strong believer that you reap what you sow.

  4. Has anyone commenting on this “Medicare integration plan” ever been notified by the unions or management organizations or the Postal Service that they are endorising passage of HR 756. I have been retired since 2003 and I have NALC health insurance. Every year I pay $36.00 to NALC for associate fees. I have never received anything from them or the Postal Service about this legislation. Yet NALC testifies to Congress that they represent 76,000 retired employees. This implies to Congress that retiree’s have been involved in the decision making process and agree with passage of HR 756. I could go on and on about this bill, but I would like to know if any of you were informed by the Unions or the Postal Service about this bill and if you were asked to be part of the process. Thanks.

  5. NALC President Rolando spoke for all four unions yet he did not represent or speak for retirees. Retirees are not bargaining unit employees. Can our benefits be changed or taken away when we have no vote or voice?
    So what happens in the future when postal management wants to cut our pension or more of our healthcare?

  6. How far towards passage in Retard-Washington,DC,has this bill really gone? We the people’s of the U.S.A. appear get collectively dumber,each day.

  7. At present, I will not turn 65 untill2020. My wife turns 70 this month. Will she be required to sign up for medicare even though I won’t be eligible for three more years? Thanx

  8. Isn’t it true that Regan couldn’t convert Civil Service employees to FERS
    because it was a federal law that couldn’t be recinded (according to the
    Constitution once a law is passed by Congress it can’t be changed as
    it is a contract). Why aren’t our retirement benefits the same for those
    already retired? Seems they would have to grandfather in and make
    it for new employees only.

    • Steve, go back to high school and learn American history. A Federal law is not the same as US Constitution and YES law CAN be repealed by enacting a new law , and certainly the contract clause that you’re referring to is about State law, not Federal’s

      • It is true that mainly when things are done to anyone. The person putting the hurt on you
        doesn’t ask your opinion. I don’t think that anyone when they send your rights down the
        river is going to ask you ” how do you like hamburger with everything or will mayonnaise do”.
        The argument about ones political view reminds me of the movie ” THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE”.
        In one part they make a statement ” 75% of the people on death row are conservative”. While
        it works in Hollywood, to read this bill leads me to believe that “Bipartisan” means that as
        common people we are all on the short end of things. The devil is always in the details as the
        saying goes. It is a waste of time to point at your fellow worker to blame as it corrects nothing.

  9. I advise everyone to read the book” Retirement Heist” by E. Schultz. The book tells how Americans are screwed out of their retirement and health care. While our government looks the other way. In December 2015 Congress changed the ERISA. Now employers can reduce the benefits of annuitants. Anything to help out their business pals! Now as for the latest Postal deform legislation, the changes are because of ex President Forrest Gump and Congress And that mindless health care prefunding crap! It is just so nice that after many years of working like a trained circus animal and paying your share of the costs, the employer is allowed to change the rules and cheat and steal your retirement. That is like you buy a car for $ 20,000 own the car a few years. Then the car co. tells you sorry we need more from you. If you want to keep the car, you must pay us more. As for public employees, our leaders will tell us that the tax payer shouldn’t pay for our benefits. To have a safe country, we need more tanks, F-35’s that costs $95 million each, and a nice war just down the road.

  10. You gotta love politicians…they can make anything sound good! The part about keeping promises to customers and employees? If they were going to keep any promises to employees it would be to leave our healthcare plans the hell alone!! These idiots think that were going to buy the part about “improving healthcare” when we all know they are going to screw it up royally!! Take a look at the Medicare Part D “EGWP” program and get familiar with it because that is what we are going to get if this passes!!! The RX (drug plan) we have now as part of our FEHB plan will totally stop at age 65, another words, your insurance provider will now be off the “HOOK” in providing any drug coverage!! That is part of the reason the unions are going along with this…their own healthcare plans will save millions at the expense of the Postal retirees who will foot the difference with increased costs!! TAKE A LOOK AT THE HIGH DEDUCTIBLES ASSOCIATED WITH THE “EGWP” PLAN! THIS ISN’T AM IMPROVEMENT IN OUR HEALTHCARE PLAN, IT’S THE OPPOSITE AND SHOULD BE STOPPED!! CALL YOUR REPS IN WASHINGTON AND TELL THEM NO!

    • Postal Joe makes some great points, especially as to why the unions support such an employee and retiree unfriendly change to our healthcare. This forced Medicare Part B enrollment combined with forced Medicare Part D EGWP make this very unattractive, even to retirees who already chose to enroll in Medicare Part B. What makes this even more bizarre is that it will save the USPS little or nothing because a unique “Postal Only” health care risk pool will be more expensive for us than remaining in the larger FEHBP healthcare risk pool according to both the Congressional Budget Office and Walton Francis, an expert on federal health benefits. USPS is claiming $3-4 billion annually but when you look at the real numbers the savings the USPS will get is less than $400 million annually. In addition consider that OPM is working on other initiatives to reduce prescription costs in all FEHBP plans. When they complete their work the real benefit from this could drop to near 0. This is a bad deal and it is important that our representative in Congress know our position on the legislation. Our unions are not representing us well on this and our representatives must hear from us, the voters.

    • Right on target, Postal Joe. NALC President Rolando wrote a commentary for the Mercury News titled “Postal Service business is up, deficit all politics”. I read it twice and realized we are only a pawn in their game.

  11. reduced pension from bankrupt employer, like the teamsters, and get a drastically reduced HBP and force retirees to pay for duplicate coverage by forcing them to pay for medicare. We no longer need the fehbp, if we are going to be forced into paying for medicare. Why doesn’t the usps just pay for medicare part b and d and a medigap policy, it would be cheaper than paying $14000 for there contribution to our HBP. Make promises for decades and then renege on the contractual obligations. The gov’t is by far worse off, but they are not fixing themselves, same with social security.

  12. The Postal Health Benefits Program provision of this legislation is not a good thing for employees or retirees. In the short term this legislation will force all Medicare eligible retirees to enroll in Medicare Parts B & D. This will cost nearly 25 percent of our retiree population at least $1600 annually for coverage they don’t want or need. In the longer term being in the “Postal Only” risk pool will cost every employee and retiree more than if they remained in the much larger FEHBP risk pool with all other Federal employees. Shame on our management, unions and management organizations for selling us out. If this passes and becomes law we will all look back in five years and wonder why such a hurtful law was passed and see that a Postal Health Benefits Program did nothing to help Postal finances. Call your representative in Congress and tell them we want to keep the Health Benefits coverage that we earned and want free choice to enroll in Medicare or not.

  13. What a bunch of bs. My health care is good right now. A USPS plan will only *certainly* make it worse.

    Plus, cluster boxes = driven away customers. Service is all we have to offer, and these take away even that.

    Nice job rethuglicans.

    • This was started by your dumbo obama…and the sponsors are oh my look at that DUMMOCRAPPS… liberal before you shoot of your mouth

    • You might want to read the story, and see that it is not just Republicans that sponsored this bill. There are several Democrats listed, too.

  14. i do not wish to loose health benefits because i turn 65. once I turn 65 would the PO stop paying my benefit for health care insurance?? that is a loss of over $13,000 a year. Does my wife loose her insurance because I turn 65? If I have to buy insurance for her I will have to spent the over $13000 out of my pay. This ends up penalizing my over $26,000 a year for reaching 65.

    • Mark, no the catch with this legislation is that you will be required to enroll in Medicare when you reach 65 (and your wife must enroll in Medicare when she reaches 65) to be able to keep federal health insurance. So when you are both 65 you will be paying two Medicare premiums (about $3200 a year) just to be able to keep any federal health benefits coverage. The cost of your federal insurance coverage will depend on the plan you choose. The problem is that now we have the choice to enroll in Medicare, if this passes we will be forced to enroll in Medicare which around 25% of retirees find is not needed or wanted. This scheme will likely cost us all more and some retirees will get hammered with an expense they hadn’t planned for.

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