The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that includes $127 million in Medicaid funding for Guam this fiscal year and another $127 million for fiscal year 2021.
The measure also reduces the amount of local matching funds from 45 percent now to just 17 percent.
The administrator of Public Health’s Division of Public Welfare, Tess Arcangel, says final approval can’t come soon enough for Guam.
Some 44,000 people on island qualify for Medicaid and Arcangel said we have just about run out of the remaining ObamaCare funds to cover them.
On NewsTalk K-57 today, Arcangel pointed out that those ObamaCare funds did not require a match and the Medicare reimbursement was 100 percent.
To access the $127 million proposed in the House bill, the Guam Legislature will need to appropriate a 17 percent match.
“$127 million that means we can pay our providers in a timely manner. But of course the difference with 2019 was that’s 100 percent federal. With $127 million, that requires a 17 percent local match before we can spend it,” Arcangel said.
The $127 million in Medicaid funding for Guam is included in the federal government’s $1.4 trillion spending bill.
Governor Lou Leon Guerrero issued a statement calling passage of the bill “meaningful progress.”
It still has to clear the Senate and get signed into law by the president.