Fact-checking the PMG’s comments on health benefitsMonday, April 30th, 2012
Yesterday we told you about the Postmaster General’s claim that the USPS has never talked about post office “closures” when a simple Google search proves otherwise. But the PMG also seems to have a unique understanding of the words “competition” and “largest”.
“Competition” comes up in this clip when Donahoe explains how the USPS can cut 10% off of its health insurance costs by taking postal workers out of the Federal Employees Health Benefit plan. How? By creating competition! This probably comes as a surprise to postal workers, who currently get to choose their health plan from dozens of companies that compete for their business. Under Donahoe’s plan, the USPS would contract with a single insurer, and that would be the company that would cover postal employees and retirees. So, according to the PMG, competition is when you don’t get to choose from among dozens of competitors?
Donahoe also explains in the clip that one reason the USPS will be able to get such a good deal is that it will be the “largest” insurance plan in the United States, with one million enrollees. Sounds impressive! Until you stop and think- after all, postal workers are currently part of the Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan, which also includes the rest of the federal government. Isn’t FEHBP already “larger” than any USPS plan could possibly be? Of course, the answer is yes- and not just yes, but a really, really BIG yes- FEHBP currently insures nine million Americans. So even if the USPS pulls out, FEHBP would still be eight times the size of any USPS health plan.