Senator San Nicolas proposes untouchable GMH Fund

Guam Congressman Michael San Nicolas (PNC file photo)

Guam – Senator Mike San Nicolas has introduced a bill that he says will prevent the need to raise taxes and borrow money for GMH.

According to a release from the Senator’s office bill 153 will consolidate all health care funds of GovGuam into one master fund which will be administered by the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority. If the measure becomes law it will put the Healthy Futures Fund, the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority Pharmaceuticals Fund, and the GMHA Medicaid Matching Fund into the “Unified Health Fund.”

The idea is that the bill would prevent these funds on being spent on things other than the hospital. In fact, it includes a provision that would make it a third-degree felony to expend authorize or appropriate unified health fund money for any other purpose. Senator San Nicolas is quoted as saying “with up to $90.5 million in local tax dollars spent on health in FY2016, there is no reason for GMH to be $26 million short if existing dollars are simply prioritized.” The Senator says that raising taxes and borrowing more money are unnecessary adding that “all we need to do is prioritize what we already have.”