The administration has made $32.8 million in Medicaid payments to various vendors and healthcare providers following the passage into law of the Disaster Aid Bill last June.
The legislation included a provision to temporarily increase the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for Guam to 100 percent on remaining Affordable Care Act (ACA) funds.
During her first trip to Washington D.C., the governor testified before the House of Representatives and Senate Committees about long-standing issues affecting Guam, including Medicaid parity.
She has also written letters to Congress urging them to prioritize healthcare funding to the U.S. territories which are severely underfunded in comparison to the states.
According to the governor, recent congressional action provided a temporary fix to the challenges Guam faced in addressing the island’s Medicaid expenditures. Nonetheless, she said it is a welcome reprieve and the result of efforts to make Guam’s case before the federal government.
She added that her administration is very appreciative of the level of commitment Congress and the White House have given to Guam.
In June, President Trump signed into law H.R. 2157, the disaster aid legislation that provides $19.1 billion in aid to states and territories devastated by natural disasters. A provision was included to allow the government of Guam to draw down from the remaining ACA funds without requiring the territory to put up a local match of 45 percent. The funds were set to expire on Sept. 30, 2019.
But while lauding the passage of the disaster aid bill, the governor said her administration is still pushing for Medicaid parity for Guam by lifting Guam’s annual Medicaid cap and basing the island’s FMAP on a formula that takes into account per capita income.
Along with other U.S. territories, Guam’s collective pursuit of healthcare-related services has resulted in the introduction of two bills which will treat Guam and other U.S. territories more equitably with the states,” the governor said.