Debate on insurance bill heats up

Sen. Telena Cruz Nelson (D) of the 34th Guam Legislature. Nelson is running for reelection this Nov. 6th.

It was the speaker versus the vice speaker. But ultimately it came down to pulling rank on who has the floor.


Guam – Tensions rose when Vice Speaker Telena Nelson slammed Speaker Tina Muna Barnes’ bill, which would expand the government of Guam’s health insurance coverage.

Nelson described Bill 30-35 as “flawed,” thus the need for it to be rewritten and reintroduced.

In its current  form, the bill proposes the inclusion of the Guam Regional Medical City in the government’s healthcare insurance program, which is currently acceptable only at the Guam Memorial Hospital.

Nelson argued that the new proposed amendment is “not germane to the bill.”

The amendment in question, proposed by Sen. Regine Biscoe Lee, would change the language in the existing bill to include “all public and private hospitals.”

Muna Barnes, however, is not keen on the amendment, which she said would change the overall premise of the bill and entail  a title change.

Sen. Amanda Shelton, acting as speaker, ruled that the amendment was “germane to the bill” and that amendments could be made to the bill without having to reintroduce it.

The bill be discussed at today’s session that began at 9 a m.