Guam – Vice-Speaker Senator B.J. Cruz and Senator Dennis Rodriquez have introduced legislation to require that contractors pay the un-paid hospital bills that their contract workers have racked up at Guam Memorial Hospital.
According to a release from the Vice-Speaker’s Office, GMH is owed $400,000 in unpaid bills for non-immigrant temporary workers.
Cruz and Rodriguez introduced Bill No. 49 that seeks to include the failure of meeting obligations to the hospital as a reason for suspending or revoking a contractor’s professional license. The idea, conceived by GMHA, would also require agencies to provide billing documentation to the Guam Contractors Licensing Board.
After reviewing the hospital’s latest financial statements last week, Cruz inquired with hospital officials regarding the practice of certain companies who would bring their sponsored H-2 employees for hospital services and leave without paying. This practice was noted by management in the hospital’s audit.
“With a dramatic increase in overseas workers, we can expect to see these unpaid bills go from $400,000 to perhaps millions of dollars,” Cruz said. “This is an unacceptable burden on our community and the local taxpayer, illustrating what I have been saying all along; that the true chokepoint for the buildup is the hospital.”
Cruz adds he is looking at other measures to address this issue, including amending the H-2 certification requirements so that contractors must provide health insurance to their employees.
Cruz has sent a request to GMHA, under the Freedom of Information Act, for a listing of companies that hospital officials believe owe money for services provided to non-immigrant temporary workers under the H-2 program.