NARFE Urges Opposition to House Postal Reform Bill

Feb 1, 2017 Alexandria, VA – National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) urged members of Congress to oppose the Postal Service Reform Act of 2017, H.R. 756, which was introduced yesterday by House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-UT, along with the co-sponsorship of Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings, D-MD, and Reps. Mark Meadows, R-NC, Dennis A. Ross, R-FL, Gerald E. Connolly, D-VA, and Stephen F. Lynch, D-MA.

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NARFE President Richard G. Thissen issued 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 current postal retirees and survivors who are satisfied with their current health insurance coverage to pay an additional $134 per month, or more, through Medicare to keep it.

“The reason for doing so is unconvincing. It is simply so the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) can save money in a manner that avoids more politically difficult decisions.

“This is not the only path forward. Why not allow 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 permit USPS to ship alcohol or provide more financial services? Why not allow 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. Instead, the bill unfairly places the full burden of balancing the Postal Service’s books on the backs of 76,000 postal retirees and their survivors.

“Postal retirees should not now, after finishing long careers with USPS, be threatened with the loss of their health insurance entirely if they do not buy additional coverage through Medicare. This not only eliminates choice with regard to health insurance for postal retirees living on fixed incomes, but it also sets a dangerous precedent for all federal retirees.

“NARFE has offered an alternative that 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.”

6 thoughts on “NARFE Urges Opposition to House Postal Reform Bill

  1. I am a Postal Service annuitant (retiree) and I am not too bent out of shape over the introduction of the Postal Service Reform Act, H.R. 756. Up to 90% of us postal service retirees have signed up for Medicare Part B anyways. We get Part A for free and Part B, in conjunction with our FEHB health insurance is great coverage. Medicare becomes the primary and our FEHB coverage becomes the secondary provider. During last FEHB Open Season and I changed my insurance from Blue Cross to GEHA and cut my premiums by a little more than half. Even with the addition of the Part B premium I’m paying just about what I was paying with Federal Blue Cross alone. And with both Medicare AND GEHA my copays are covered! Also, if you don’t sign up for Part B you will pay a big penalty in your premium for every year you go without signing up for Part B (Part A is included for free). We all need health insurance and we have to budget for it in a way that allows us to be able to afford it. Careful research will allow retirees to mix and match lower cost FEHB plans with Medicare so that we still are covered against financial hardship if ever we need serious health care services. There’s tons of information on the web about all that I have just said. I am grateful for my postal service retirement and benefits and the huge financial burden of pre-funding future retirees health care insurance will be lifted from the Postal Service and strengthen it’s long-term viability and allow future postal retirees to have a job and ultimately retiree in good shape as well. That’s why the four Postal Unions support this bill as well as the supervisory association known as NAPS.

  2. Ernst- your postal unions will do nothing in the way of filing suits toward this bill. They really don’t do much now other than tell us to contact our congressional reps and tell us how we all need to be one. All typical union talk and nothing else.

  3. I’m a new retiree and although I don’t have to apply for Medicaid until I’m 65, does this bill mean I have to get it early? That damn prefunding was supposed to cover costs for 75 years out but the bastards in Washington, including, I’m sorry to say, some Democrats, showing they are just as worthless as the GOP in my estimation, are always out to go after federal employees and retirees. This millionaires and the billionaire President simply cannot tolerate anybody outside their income level to have a dime of their own because they want everything. Is it an oversimplification to state this as plainly as I have? I don’t think so. I truly believe the combination of power never before experienced and the massive amounts of money to be had through campaign contributions, PAC’s, lobbies, private business deals is so toxic that even the most well meaning new lawmaker will, sooner rather than later, succumb to the system because if he or she doesn’t, they get blacklisted and kicked out of Washington through every dirty trick imaginable. Had Clinton not tried to internally sabotage Bernie Sanders, with Debbie Wasserman-Shulz’ help and let the issues and personalities speak for themselves, Sanders would be our president and we wouldn’t be on the brink of global financial, domestic and foreign disaster. Preying on those with fixed incomes like retirees is a low blow, but one that is totally expected from the most vile corrupted people in the world.

  4. I could not agree more. Medicare Part B for both my wife and I as retirees will cost us $268.00 additional per month for a service that we don’t want and definitely don’t need. All of our co pays for year 2016 totaled less than $400.00. This wouldn’t come close to the $3216.00 additional cost of Medicare B. I was made a contractual promise of FEBHP coverage without any additional burdensome costly supplemental insurance and the gov’t. will be reneging on that contract. If this gets through I will not be able to afford it. NARFE needs to file a class action lawsuit against the gov’t and the Postal Service if this goes through.

    • These changes are true and not fake news. We’re about to be bum rushed by the agreement given postal career employees upon the Oath taken and now the words agreed to by the USPS personnel means nothing plus this is an outright lie.
      How about our Unions filing cease and desist suits to stop this travesty. The issues surrounding Part B is intent to hurt retirees and allow everyone else to escape unharmed.

    • These changes are true and not fake news. We’re about to be bum rushed by the agreement given postal career employees against the Oath taken and now the words agreed to by the USPS personnel means nothing plus it is an outright lie.
      How about our Unions filing cease and desist suits to stop this travesty. The issues surrounding Part B is intent to hurt retirees and allow everyone else to escape unharmed.

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