The postmaster general asks for congressional permission for post office to run its own health plan for employees and retirees and modify the mandate that the agency pay $5.5 billion annually to fund future health benefits.
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During a hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Patrick R. Donahoe, the postmaster general, asked Congress to give the Postal Service permission to run its own health plan for employees and retirees, modify a Congressional mandate that requires the agency to pay $5.5 billion a year into its fund for future employee health benefits, and end Saturday mail delivery. Mr. Donahoe said the changes would allow the agency to save $20 billion by 2016 (Nixon, 2/13).
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The Postal Service recorded a nearly $16 billion loss during its last fiscal year. Mr. Donahoe said losses near that level are likely to continue, as mail volumes continue to decline and as Congress restricts the ability to take cost-saving actions such as placing postal workers on a private health care plan (Morath, 2/13).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.