Pascrell, Doggett Ask if Mail Delays Negatively Impact Medicare and Medicaid Beneficiaries

Pascrell, Doggett Ask if Mail Delays Negatively Impact Medicare and Medicaid Beneficiaries

Endemic postal problems may threaten services for millions of seniors and families

 

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, and Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-35), the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, today asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to assess how systemic mail delays at the United States Postal Service (USPS) may impact CMS operations and services for Americans.

 

“The continuing endemic delays at the Post Office aren’t some small nuisance,” said Chairman Pascrell. “These postal problems threaten to delay life-saving Medicare and Medicaid benefits to millions of our seniors and needy neighbors. If the mail isn’t arriving on time, countless lives face anxiety and uncertainty. Any delays of Medicare and Medicaid payments because of postal chaos are unacceptable. Meanwhile, I continue to urge full replacement of the disastrous leadership at the head of the Post Office – starting with Louis DeJoy and Ron Bloom.”

 

“The Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittees on Oversight and Health are trying to determine the impact of the new standards, which include increased time-in-transit standards, on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and its contractors,” Pascrell and Doggett write Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “To what extent will delayed mail delivery impact CMS and its contractors (please include any estimates related to the expected delays), and what options are under consideration by CMS and its contractors to address delays, if any?”

 

Since this postal crisis began, Rep. Pascrell has aggressively demanded accountability from USPS. On May 21, 2020, Pascrell wrote to USPS Inspector General Tammy Whitcomb demanding an investigation of turmoil at the USPS, stemming from a pattern of interference engineered by the Trump administration in its efforts to destabilize the post office. On August 14, 2020 Pascrell became the first member of Congress to call for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Trump to be investigated by a state criminal grand jury for their dismantling the Post Office, making a criminal referral to New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal alleging Trump and DeJoy subverted state elections.

 

On January 25, 2021, Rep. Pascrell became the first member of Congress calling on President Biden to fire the entire Postal Board of Governors sitting before his election for their silence and complicity in DeJoy’s ongoing sabotage of postal operations. In February, Pascrell immediately praised the nominations by President Biden of the three new nominees to the USPS Board of Governors and on March 18, Pascrell and Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-VA-11) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03) led over 50 House Democrats urging Biden to immediately remove the then-sitting USPS Board of Governors.

 

The text of the letter to CMS is provided below.

 

 

November 17, 2021

 

The Honorable Chiquita Brooks-LaSure

Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

7500 Security Boulevard

Baltimore, MD 21224

 

Dear Administrator Brooks-LaSure,

 

As you know, the United States Postal Service (USPS) recently announced new service standards for first class mail. The Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittees on Oversight and Health are trying to determine the impact of the new standards, which include increased time-in-transit standards, on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and its contractors and would appreciate answers to the following questions by December 10, 2021.

 

  1. How many letters/notices are sent by CMS and its contractors each year, and how much is spent on postage?
  2. How many letters/notices include a deadline or response date by which the beneficiary must act or respond? Please identify which of these deadlines are provided for in statutory language.
  3. How many payments or checks are mailed each year by CMS and its contractors?
  4. How many pieces of correspondence are received by CMS and its contractors each year?
  5. How much is spent annually on postage by CMS and its contractors, and what is the upcoming budget for FY2022 for postage?
  6. To what extent will delayed mail delivery impact CMS and its contractors (please include any estimates related to the expected delays), and what options are under consideration by CMS and its contractors to address delays, if any?
  7. Describe any discussions with the USPS related to mail rates/pricing and delivery times for mail from and to CMS and its contractors within the last year.

 

Your assistance with our review is appreciated.

 

Sincerely,

 

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