Calvo Details Accomplishments of Mainland Trip; Progress on Medicare in PI; Visa-Waiver & Buildup

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Guam – In a briefing for reporters Monday, Governor Calvo, his Chief of Staff Frank Arriola and Chief Policy Advisor Arthur Clark detailed the results of their recent trip to San Francisco, North Carolina, and Washington D.C.

A release quotes the Governor as saying that :

“We are moving forward quickly and confidently. Soon enough, Guamanians will have more affordable options for healthcare, more economic opportunities with a stronger tourism market, and a military buildup that builds up this island.”

The release summarizes the accomplishments of the trip below:

Medicare Acceptance in the Philippines

In San Francisco, Governor Calvo, Arriola, and Clark met with Region IX officials to solidify Medicare acceptance in the Philippines. Federal counterparts concurred with the benefits, and will support Governor Calvo’s efforts to implement this new policy.

“This is encouraging, and a huge step in the right direction,” Governor Calvo said. “Leaving home to seek lifesaving medical treatment is already a stressful experience emotionally. The least we can do as leaders is give assistance during this time.”

The administration is pursuing reimbursable costs through the billing medical institution. Currently, Guam’s sick cannot afford to pay costs for expensive procedures—lifesaving procedures not available on Guam. Governor Calvo has committed to working with the Legislature, federal officials, and internationally accredited medical institutions to make this a reality.

Parole Visa Waiver

Progress was also made in the approval for a China/Russia Visa Waiver program for Guam. Governor Calvo met with the U.S. State Department, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and the White House in Washington D.C. on this issue.

The Governor learned the State Department is currently seeking closer trade relations between the United States and China—so much so they invited Governor Calvo to participate in two trade missions between American and Chinese governors.

“The last hurdle is with Homeland Security—everyone else is on board,” Governor Calvo said. “We still need to understand what their objections are, because if we’re just speaking on the technical merits, there is no reason why we can’t have this Visa Waiver program. I’ve made it clear: the federal government must support Guam in her quest to realize her full economic potential.”

Military Buildup

Finally, new ideas were presented to the Department of Defense to support the “One Guam” approach to the military buildup. The Governor reiterated plans to aggressively investigate and ensure compliance with local business license and tax laws. Additionally, administration officials suggested the federal government train and support the Guam National Guard to run our island’s missile ballistic defense system. This will allow families to stay together while Guardsmen stay on the front line of major defense initiatives right here at home.