Governor seeks extension of Medicaid funding

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Federal Medicaid funds for Guam and the territories will run out on Dec. 20.

With a few days left in the current fiscal year, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero is calling on Congress to pass a continuing resolution that will extend Medicaid funding to Guam beyond Sept. 30.

The governor sent a letter of support to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for H.R. 4378, the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2020, and Health Extenders Act of 2019.

Section 1302 of the bill would extend the current 100 percent Federal Medicaid Assistance
Percentage (FMAP) for the territories through November 21, 2019.

In June, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law H.R. 2157, the Disaster Aid bill that included a provision to increase the FMAP on expiring Affordable Care Act (ACA) funds for Guam to 100 percent. Without the provision, Guam would have been required to put up a match of 45 percent in order to draw down from available ACA funds.

Earlier, the governor, along with the chief executives of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa, sent a letter to congressional leaders to raise concerns about the disparate treatment of U.S. territories under the Medicaid program.

According to the governor, access to healthcare is equally important to residents of the U.S. territories as it is for the 50 states.

The governor said extending the current 100 percent FMAP for the territories through Nov. 21 provides Guam with only temporary relief. She said Congress still needs to fully address the inequality between the territories and the states by calculating Guam’s FMAP based on a formula that considers per capita income and removing the Medicaid cap itself.

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