Fedsmith reports on NARFE’s reaction to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s bipartisan postal service reform bill.  NARFE is opposed to the idea of auto-enrolling Postal annuitants in Medicare.  That train, however, has left the station because auto-enrollment is the surest path to lowering the Postal Service’s liability for post-retirement health benefits.  The article notes that

To help offset these new mandatory cost, the House legislation provides a transition fund with the Postal Service paying 75 percent of the enrollee’s share of their premium for the first year of Medicare enrollment, 50 percent the second year, and 25 percent the third year. In the fourth year and thereafter, postal retirees would have to pay the full amount of their share of Medicare premiums like most other Part B participants.

NARFE’s legislative director believes that the House bill could be marked up by the Committee within the next 30 days.  “It is possible that the House version could receive a floor vote after Congress returns from its August recess, setting up a final vote in the House and Senate during their final session of the year after the November elections.”  Of course, the FEHBP-related provisions are only one aspect of this over-arching bill.

John D. Rockefeller, the oil baron from the 19th Century, built his fortune in the first fifty years of his life.  He devoted the second half of his long life (he lived to age 97) to philanthropy.  Much of his philanthropy focused on public health issues.  Bill Gates, the softward baron, has ripped a page out of the John D. Rockefeller playbook. Stat has an interesting interview with him here.  

The annual AHIP Institute has taken place in Las Vegas this week. Here are articles from Fierce Heathcare and Healthcare Finance about that conference.