Governor Calvo wrote to U.S. Department of Treasury to reiterate his request to ensure Guam and all U.S. Territories be treated equitably when it comes to federal programs and mandates.
In his letter to Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew, the Governor referred to a letter he sent to President Obama last year (p1p2).
“I pointed out that insufficient and unstable funding for Medicaid has contributed not only to Puerto Rico’s fiscal challenges, but has had the same effect on Guam and the other territories,” he wrote. “Just as Puerto Rico has capped Medicaid funding, fewer benefits, and a lesser contribution from the federal government than the rest of the nation, so too are these issues mirrored in Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana islands, and American Samoa.”
Officials in the Obama Administration and Congress are finalizing plans to rescue Puerto Rico from their fiscal crisis, which is impacting their health system. Through the Affordable Care Act, stopgap funding was provided to the territory but that money will soon be depleted. The Obama Administration is proposing that Puerto Rico receive the same level of funding that U.S. states receive.
In his letter to Lew, the Governor asks that language be included in Legislation that aims to assist Puerto Rico.
“I am writing again to seek support to include language that provides Medicaid, Medicare, and Earned Income tax Credit (EITC) equity to the U.S. Territories,” the Governor wrote to Lew. “It will address the unequal treatment and funding disparity of the territories in these areas.”
The Governor added that maintaining the federal EITC program with local funds is a struggle. In the last decade, the amount of EITC owed to local residents each tax year has nearly tripled – from $23.9 million for tax year 2005 to the estimated $60 million for tax year 2014.
“Reconsideration from the Administration and the United States Congress to allow reimbursement of dispersed EITC will greatly help our economic growth,” Governor Calvo wrote.
— End of Release —

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