On Thursday, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced a 2018 postal reform bill (S. 2629). While the bill’s text is not yet publicly available, Govexec.com reports that the bill “largely mirrors” the House bipartisan 2017 Postal reform bill (HR 756) which the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee unanimously approved last Spring.
The bill’s sponsors invoked a rule on Thursday—the same day the bill was introduced—to allow the measure to skip the normal committee process and head straight to the floor for a vote. The timing of such a vote remains unclear.
As previously discussed here, these Postal reform bills would create a new Postal Service Health Benefits Program within the FEHBP. The PSHBP plans would only be open to Postal Service employees and annuitants. The law would require full integration with Medicare Parts A, B, and D for annuitants. That requirement in turn would lower premiums for everyone. The third bounce of the ball is that those savings would redound to the benefit of enrollees and the Postal Service which would see its FEHBP pre-funding for retirees obligation decrease.
The Postal Service reform bill is important to the America economy because, among other reasons, there are large geographic swaths of the country with no deliver service other than the Postal Service. It’s not surprising therefore to see the Postal Service, the Postal Service labor unions, and customers coalesce around this bill which has been a long time coming.