E&C leaders announce Medicaid funding agreement for Guam, other territories

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Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (file photo)

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) have announced a bipartisan agreement to provide long-term Medicaid funding to Guam, Puerto Rico, and the other U.S. Territories.

“We are pleased to announce a bipartisan agreement that will avert the looming fiscal cliff by providing Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa with stable Medicaid funding for years to come,” Pallone and Rodgers said. “The legislative text is being finalized and will be introduced by Reps. Soto and Bilirakis next week before being considered at a Health Subcommittee markup later in the week. Medicaid is an important safety net for those in the territories as we continue to confront the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to working together to find a way to pay for this legislation and ensure it passes and is signed into law.”

“For far too long, Puerto Rico’s health system has operated with uncertainty regarding its Medicaid system – potentially contributing to a breakdown in healthcare and eroding of hospitals there,” said Reps. Darren Soto and Gus Bilirakis. “We must ensure a safety net for our most vulnerable populations while putting safeguards in place to strengthen accountability for the wise use of taxpayer dollars and incentivize best practices in the Medicaid program. This steady funding will be foundational for Puerto Rico’s healthcare system and will help provide continued access to healthcare for seniors, children, and people with disabilities in the U.S. territories.”

The bipartisan agreement will extend increased funding and Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) levels for five years for Puerto Rico and eight years for the U.S. territories at current FMAP levels (76 percent FMAP for Puerto Rico and 83 percent FMAP for Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Marianna Islands, and American Samoa).

 

(House Energy and Commerce Committee Release)

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