2013 Legislative Agenda : Getting Things Done
Something's got to give. The USPS has defaulted on more than $11 billion in payments to the U.S. treasury and maxed out its $15 billion borrowing limit last September. Lyons says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) intends to move postal reform to the front burner for the 113th Congress.
Health Care Reform
The Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, is now the law of the land. It's not going to go away anytime soon. Much of the effort being done by PIA is to educate members on its implementation and what choices will be available, as evidenced by a recent Webinar—the first in a series—intended to guide printers through the process leading up to the Fall open enrollment.
While there likely won't be any attempts made to repeal or replace Obamacare, the lobby will be pushing for tweaks to be made to it from a tax standpoint: For example, the dollar amount of subsidies for individuals who purchase their own insurance. Lyons sees this being a part of the overall tax reform conversation.
There will be other minor, but notable, health care talking points worthy of monitoring, items Lyons terms as populist issues, such as allowing people to use their medical flexible savings account for over-the-counter drugs.
"The big focus for health care in our industry is deciphering the regulations and implementation steps that members have to take," she adds. "We expect to play a key resource role for our member companies in those areas."
A couple of relative newcomers to the legislative agenda both deal with paper—one from a delivery standpoint; the other provides consumers with expanded choices in what is becoming a paperless movement.
On the front end, the issue at hand is transportation productivity. The transportation faction—with allies that include the paper industry—is asking Congress to raise the weight limit on trucks that feature an added sixth axle. The rationale is that heavier—not bigger—makes for safer trucks. From the printing industry point of view, this enables the delivery fleet to carry more product, which bolsters efficiency. This issue is on the radar screen for the transportation committee in the 113th Congress. The issue will not only face stiff resistance from highway safety advocates, but also the powerful railroad lobby.