Hagåtña, Guam – The Disaster Relief bill that includes a provision increasing the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for Guam to 100% is now on its way to President Trump’s desk for his signature.
“There was a delay in the approval of this measure providing our territories and states with much-needed relief. Nonetheless, I am glad that it has overcome the latest hurdle and I am optimistic that President Trump will honor his word that he will sign the bill into law,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero. “Our Administration has been seeking Congressional support of our Medicaid funding issues. We have sent letters, testified before Congress, and met with numerous Federal officials and agencies. We will continue to fight for equitable and fair treatment of Guam and the other U.S. Territories on these and all other matters.”
The Disaster Relief Package provides $19.1 billion in funding to states and territories devastated by natural disasters in recent years. It also includes language that allows Guam to draw down from the available Affordable Care Act (ACA) funds without requiring the territory to put up a 45% local match. The funds are set to expire on September 30, 2019.
Attempts to pass the measure in the House through unanimous consent were blocked three times during the weeklong Memorial Day recess. Lawmakers returned today from their break and approved H.R. 2157 by a vote of 354-58.
“Following the first failed attempt by the House to approve this measure last week, we immediately sent a letter to Congressman Michael San Nicolas and to other members of Congress, urging them to back the measure and preserve the Senate’s language that is helpful to Guam and the U.S. Territories. I want to thank them for their attention to our concerns and for supporting us to ensure funds and assistance to our people remain intact,” added Governor Leon Guerrero.