News & information

Efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act will continue

The debate will continue on efforts to dismantle Obamacare, so it remains imperative that letter carriers continue to call the Washington, DC, and home-district offices of their senators and tell them both to oppose such efforts. Please take a minute to call and keep calling. Ask your adult family members, friends and co-workers to do the same.


On Tuesday, the Senate voted to proceed with consideration of the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA, H.R. 1628) by narrow margins—requiring Vice President Mike Pence to break a tie. Knowing that the House bill cannot pass the Senate, senators proceeded to consider a substitute amendment containing the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) alternative bill, a move that went down in flames. After that effort failed, McConnell moved on to call for a vote on the full repeal of Obamacare, which also failed to pass the Senate.

Early Friday morning, the Senate voted to reject the latest iteration of an Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare) repeal, marking the third failed attempt at health care repeal this week. There are currently no other draft bills, repeal options seem exhausted, and it is unclear how or if McConnell and Senate Republicans will proceed, but NALC will closely monitor for further activity as our fight is far from over. (Click here to learn more.)

What does this mean for letter carriers?

All of the repeal options discussed have the potential to harm letter carriers and their families. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), earlier repeal plans would have stripped health insurance coverage from 22 million Americans, and both would have cut hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicaid.

Letter carriers and the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program (FEHBP) would not be immune to the consequences of repeal. Here are five reasons why:

  1. If Congress takes insurance away from millions of Americans, premiums would rise nationwide to recoup the cost of providing uncompensated health care (FEHBP, too).
  2. The Senate has considered waiving insurance regulations, allowing health exchanges to collapse, weakening protections for those with pre-existing conditions and exposing FEHBP to similar disastrous consequences in the near future.
  3. Corporations and the wealthy would get tax breaks, while the “Cadillac Tax” that affects working people would stay the same.
  4. The “employer mandate,” requiring USPS to provide health care for city carrier assistants (CCAs) and others, could be repealed. Although CCA coverage would still be guaranteed by our contract, without the mandate, USPS might try to drop CCA coverage in future rounds of bargaining.
  5. Meanwhile, the federal budget deficit could skyrocket as tax cuts for the wealthy take immediate effect, while Medicaid spending would be delayed—creating new budget cut threats to our benefits.