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U.S. Postal Service isn't going to pay its $5.5 billion bill tomorrow

Published: Tuesday, July 31 2012 2:06 p.m. MDT

A customer enters the post office on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 in Websterville, Vt.

Toby Talbot, Associated Press

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Through rain, sleet, snow or hail, the Postal Service doesn’t miss a delivery, except when it comes to a $5.5 billion bill.

The U.S. Postal Service affirmed it will be missing its required $5.5 billion payment for health care benefits for future retirees, according to Bloomberg. The obligation is one the agency claims is keeping it from becoming financially stable.

“This has no effect on mail processing or delivery, no impact on post offices, and employees will continue to get paid,” Dave Partenheimer, a Postal Service spokesman, told Bloomberg.

The Postal Service has been unable to make payments since September of 2011. Another payment of $5.6 billion is required on Sept. 30 this year.

The service is working to pull out of the U.S. government employees’ health care plan, which the organization says is the reason for its financial troubles.

Some politicians are criticizing the Postal Service for its missed payments.

“The default by the Postal Service on its obligation to its own employees and retirees follows decades of mismanagement, and a willful blindness to fundamental changes in America’s use of mail,” Representative Darrell Issa, the California Republican who is chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told Bloomberg in an e-mail. “The Postal Service continues to fail to do all it can under current law to cut costs."

EMAIL: jferguson@desnews.com, TWITTER: @joeyferguson

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