BISHOP SEEKS TO ENSURE USPS SIX DAY DELIVERY OF PRESCRIPTIONS

Feb 13, 2013 Issues: Health Care, Senior Citizens

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Yesterday, Congressman Sanford Bishop (GA-02) and 86 of his colleagues sent a letter to United States Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Donahoe urging him to protect seniors, veterans, and other patients by ensuring the continuation of 6 day delivery for prescription medicine.

“In our home districts, Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, VA and other beneficiaries currently rely on low cost delivery of prescription drugs to their doorstep,” the letter reads. “Whether it is a homebound senior that cannot walk or drive to the pharmacy, or a veteran who lives in a rural area with limited access to the prescription drugs they need, all of these home delivery beneficiaries cannot afford to go without their medications for days…Please ensure that [USPS] properly examines all the ways in which prescription drugs are mailed through USPS, and exempt them from your new [proposed] 5-day delivery schedule.”

On Wednesday, February 6, 2013, the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced it will be cutting Saturday mail delivery beginning August 1, 2013 in order to trim costs. Congressman Bishop is opposed to the new schedule, as much of Southwest Georgia relies on timely mail delivery.

To view the letter sent to USPS Postmaster General Donohoe, please click here.

More details regarding the USPS’ proposed schedule may be found here.

Congressman Bishop’s response to the announcement may be found here

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The letter can be found here, and in text below:

 

February 11, 2013

Patrick R. Donahoe

Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer

United States Postal Service

475 L’Enfant Plaza, Southwest

Washington, D.C. 20260

 

Dear Postmaster General Donahoe,

          On behalf of the undersigned Members of Congress, I would like to express our concern with your recent announcement to end the United States Postal Service’s tradition of a six-day mail delivery and its effect on the growing population of seniors, servicemen and women, Veterans, and disabled Americans that rely on home delivery of their prescription drugs. Some of us are opposed to the new 5-day delivery schedule, others have welcomed it; regardless, all of us want to ensure that our constituents will be able to receive the medications that they depend on in a timely manner.

In our home districts, Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, VA and other beneficiaries currently rely on low cost delivery of prescription drugs to their doorstep. Whether it is a homebound senior that cannot walk or drive to the pharmacy, or a veteran who lives in a rural area with limited access to the prescription drugs they need, all of these home delivery beneficiaries cannot afford to go without their medications for days. Nor should they have to obtain the medications through more costly delivery methods, which would only draw business away from the USPS and threaten its long term financial stability.

This growing population of home delivery prescription beneficiaries is not only good for the USPS and patients, but our government as a whole. According to the Department of Defense, the government saved $33 million in FY2010 alone through use of TRICARE’s Home Delivery Program. Home delivery is the most cost effective way of filling prescriptions for TRICARE beneficiaries, and saves Medicare and Medicaid money as well. This integral part of the USPS’s services should not be changed in your reform and restructuring of the federal postal service.

Ahead of your testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Operations Committee on Wednesday, February 13, we would like you to lay out specific guidelines that would include prescription drugs in 6-day package delivery. Although you have mentioned that packages will be included in Saturday delivery, we would like further clarification on which classes of service and formal definitions of package you will consider.

Some medications are mailed in small plastic envelopes that don’t fit in the traditional definition of package, while others are mailed through first class service and thus, may be eliminated on Saturdays depending on your guidance. Please ensure that they properly examine all the ways in which prescription drugs are mailed through USPS, and exempt them from your new 5-day delivery schedule.

We look forward to hearing your response and working together to ensure the quality of service provided to our constituents will remain the same, and that the Postal Office grows its business and stays strong for the decades to come.

Sincerely,

 

Sanford Bishop (GA-02)

Tammy Duckworth (IA-08)

Ron Barber (AZ-02)

Joyce Beatty (OH-03)

Ami Bera (CA-07)

Earl Blumenhauer (OR-3)

Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01

Julia Brownley (CA-26)

Cheri Bustos (IL-17)

G.K. Butterfield (NC-01)

Lois Capps (CA-24)

Tony Cardenas (CA-29)

John Carter (TX-31)

Kathy Castor (FL-14)

Donna M Christensen (Virgin Islands)

David N. Cicilline (RI-01)

Yvette Clarke (NY-09)

Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05)

Steve Cohen (TN-09)

Elijah Cummings (MD-07)

Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25)

Peter Defazio (OR-04)

Rosa DeLauro (CT-03)

Donna Edwards (MD-04)

Keith Ellison (MN-05)

Eliot Engel (NY-16)

William Enyart (IL-12)

Anna Eshoo (CA-18)

Elizabeth Esty (CT-05)

Eni F.H. Faleomavenga (AS)

Sam Farr (CA-20)

Michael G. Fitzpatrick (PA-08)

Louis Frankel (FL-22)

Pete Gallego (TX-23)

Gene Green (TX-29)

Raul Grijalva (AZ-03)

Janice Hahn (CA-44)

Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01)

Mike Honda (CA-17)

Jared Huffman (CA-02)

Hank Johnson (GA-04)

Dan Kildee (MI-05)

Joseph Kennedy (MA-04)

Derek Kilmer (WA-06)

Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01)

Jim Langevin (RI-02)

Tom Latham (IA-05)

Barbara Lee (CA-13)

Sander Levin (MI-09)

John Lewis (GA-05)

Dan Lipinski (IL-03)

Dave Loebsack (IA-02)

Zoe Lofgren (CA-19)

Alan Lowenthal (CA-47)

Stephen Lynch (MA-09)

Carolyn Maloney (NY-12)

Doris Matsui (CA-06)

Carolyn McCarthy (NY-04)

Jim McDermott (WA-07)

James McGovern (MA-02)

Jerry McNerney (CA-09)

Michael Michaud (ME-02)

Jerrold Nadler (NY-10)

Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC)

Rich Nugent (FL-11)

Donald Payne Jr. (NJ-10)

Scott Peters (CA-52)

Chelllie Pingree (ME-01)

Mark Pocan (WI-2)

Jared Polis (CO-02)

Carol Shea Porter (NH-01)

Mike Quigley (IL-05)

Nick Rahall (WV-03)

Cedric Richmond (LA-02)

Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36)

Linda Sanchez (CA-38)

Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)

Adam Schiff (CA-28)

Bradley Schneider (IL-10)

Terri A. Sewell (AL-07)

John Shimkus (IL-15)

Albio Sires (NJ-08)

Mark Takano (CA-41)

Juan Vargas (CA-51)

Timothy Walz (MN-01)

Henry Waxman (CA-33)

Kevin Yoder (KS-03)

C.W. Bill Young (FL-13)