The U.S. Postal Service has long maintained that requiring it to set aside funding for future retirees’ health care costs in the form of fixed multibillion-dollar annual payments is a drag on its dire financial condition.
In fact, the agency has defaulted on billions of dollars in such payments in recent years and, absent reform legislation from Congress, will do so again when the next payment comes due in October.
But as lawmakers consider efforts to shore up the agency’s financial footing, widespread disagreement remains over whether the current prefunding requirement is fiscally responsible, as Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) argued during a House Oversight and Government Reformsubcommittee hearing Thursday, or an “onerous mandate” only required of the Postal Service, as Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) contended