Governor Eddie Calvo wants to borrow $120 million dollars on the bond market to fund the shortfalls at the public hospital.
Guam – The Governor is hoping to get authorization to borrow $120 million dollars soon to bail out the public hospital. However Senator Mike San Nicolas is concerned that this bail out could benefit a private company if GMH is sold.
Governor Eddie Calvo wants to borrow $120 million dollars on the bond market to fund the shortfalls at the public hospital. “Roughly on the borrowing about half of it is on the immediate operational expenditure requirements those monies that are owed to vendors and we need to make good on that. The other half is on the repair work and capital improvements that are necessary as well,” said Governor Calvo.
Senator Mike San Nicolas says before we borrow we should make sure the money that is already appropriated to GMH is actually getting there. “The hospital already has a long history of the people of Guam going into debt to bail it out of it’s financial situation. We’ve borrowed over $200 million dollars in 2009 we took out another $25 million dollar loan facility that got maxed out in 2014. So the hospital’s problems are not going to be solved by more borrowing,” said the Senator.
San Nicolas says borrowing will buy some time but in a couple years we’ll be back to square one just as we were after all the other times we borrowed money for GMH.
San Nicolas is also concerned that the bond borrowing effort could be a set-up to clear GMH debts before selling it to a private company. “So if we borrow to pay off the hospital’s obligations and then turn around and sell it, we’re just basically giving somebody a free ride to be able to take over a hospital operation after the people of Guam have bailed it out,” said San Nicolas.
“I think we should let the gossip columnists deal with the speculation he should focus on solutions. There is immediate requirement for $30 million dollars to pay off vendors and if the good senator has an answer to that I’d like to see what it is,” said Governor Calvo.
“What we need to do for GMH is we need to stop making tax credits impact the hospital. We need to stop making qualifying certificates impact the hospital and we need to stop letting people get away with not paying their taxes because gross receipt taxes are supposed to in part go to the hospital. So if the administration wants to make sure that the hospital is going to be able to have a long-term viable solution, let’s get them the money that they’re owed. That’s a place to start,” said Senator San Nicolas.
The Governor says that San Nicolas is jumping to conclusions that GMH will be privatized The Senator says he’s “seen this type of coordination before” and he just wants to begin questioning the process early before it’s too late.