Governor wants universal health insurance before leaving office


Governor Eddie Calvo released his weekly address.

Guam – Governor Eddie Calvo in his weekly address outlined his goals for the island for the next two years remaining on his term; among them, universal healthcare.


The governor touched on the recent elections and talked about the many things he would like to accomplish for the remainder of his term. He also highlighted some of his accomplishments since coming into office, such as tackling the half billion dollar deficit and the increasing crime rate.


He then talked about five goals he still has left on his agenda: the Hagatna master plan, self-determination, the Guam 2065 Comprehensive Master Plan, strengthening of families and culture and finally, universal healthcare coverage.


“I want to make sure every person without health coverage will have access to care by the time I leave office along with a modernized hospital,” he said. 


You can read the full address below:

Hafa Adai my friends and family,


Congratulations to all of our candidates on a job well done and welcome to the new senators, mayors and Congresswoman Bordallo. We have a number of new senator elects who bring with them new ideas and a fresh perspective that I hope will help us look at some of the issues we face; whether it’s the cost of the Layon Landfill, the more than $1 billion cost to meet the mandates of EPA, and addressing the H2B visa and labor shortfall that could hit our economy – these are just a few of the issues we need to work on together.


About a week ago, we cut the ribbon to the Senator Antonio M. Palomo Guam Museum and Chamorro Educational Facility in Hagåtña. And I understand that the renovation to the Guam Congress Building is almost done. That leads to some of my goals for the next two years:


1. I want to implement the Hagåtña Master Plan and begin the major revitalization of our capital city.

2. I want to continue the progress we’ve made on political self-determination.

3. I want to complete and have enacted the Guam 2065 Comprehensive Master Plan, which will begin a major rezoning and CIP-roads initiative, along with an education blueprint toward strategic industry and career creation.

4. I want to make sure every person without health coverage will have access to care by the time I leave office along with a modernized hospital.

5. I want to focus on strengthening families and encouraging a culture of life through investments in the foster care system, social services that encourage work and motivate communities, and athletic and cultural and performance facilities throughout the villages.


Being a leader is a tough job. As Governor, my administration deals with day-to-day challenges of managing an entire government. It is essential that the executive branch work closely with the Legislature and the Judiciary to address many of these issues. In the past there were those in positions of authority who had the choice of working with us or against us. I appreciate the discourse that results from that, however, we cannot let it get to the point where work doesn’t get done.


When we first came to office, our streets were infested with crime and all but two ambulances were working. I came into office with a nearly half-a-billion dollar deficit and had to figure out ways to not only keep a modicum of essential government services available, but keep our teachers and policemen paid and get your tax refunds out.


We overcame those hurdles with the help of others. And that’s the truth of the matter – the executive branch alone can’t deal with all these problems. We need people in the Legislature to work with us, or at the very least give our initiatives the light of day. Tax refunds is a good example of that. Another example is the Department of Corrections. There’s more work to be done at the facility but thanks to the cooperative effort between the administration, the Legislature and the Office of the Attorney General we are moving forward in meeting federal standards.


Other examples resulting from hard work and cooperation, we achieved: Good finances, a productive government workforce, growing wages and more jobs in the private sector, more students graduating, increasing test scores, more people with access to care, on-time tax refunds, a reduction in crime, and stronger families.


We must come away from the times when politics comes before the people.


Where we need to be tomorrow – the major capital improvements we need to transform every village into more safe, sustainable and culturally-significant centers of family living, activity and community – the investments and completion of reform in our schools and colleges – the alignment needed between our 50-year-strategic vision for the future and the education system – universal health coverage and the modernization of medical care – the revitalization of Hagåtña and the renaissance of our culture through investments into the arts, music, and the humanities – that’s a lot of hard work I’m committed to putting in these next two years.


I welcome our new senators and those returning senators to work with us. We’ve seen what we can do when we work together. We must remember, that true leaders do not lead through coercion or force. Instead, we must come from a place of love – love for our people, love for our island, and love for our children and their future. We lead with humility, and come to solutions through reasoned persuasion.


Anything short of that would be a disservice to the people of Guam who have placed their trust in us.


On that note, I want to thank the candidates who stepped up to answer the call to serve, as well as the people of Guam who went out and voted.


God bless you all and God bless our beautiful island of Guam.