Cost Of Stamps May Be On The Rise

By Emma Koch - 21Alive

Cost Of Stamps May Be On The Rise

September 26, 2013 Updated Sep 26, 2013 at 4:14 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (21Alive) -- Post Master General Patrick Donahoe appeared before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Thursday.

He says the price of a stamp needs to rise to 49 cents. The postal service lost $16 billion last year and Donahoe says he expects the service to lose $6 billion more this year.

Much of the money woes stem from a congressional mandate to pay $5 billion a year for retirees' health care benefits.

"In simple terms, we're merely asking to manage our retiree healthcare, not by reducing benefits like so many other employers that we hear about today, but by wrapping around supplementary plans around medicare," Donahoe said.

In addition to discussing the stamp hike proposal, members at the hearing are looking for "out of the box" ideas to fix the cash-strapped agency. The rate hike must be approved by an independent postal regulatory commission.

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