As dawn broke on Guam this morning, a hearse parked at the entrance of the Guam Legislature displayed signs of protest that read:
· “Public Hearing for Bill 141 & 142 NOW!”
· “Senators, Do your job!”
· “4 months + No Public Hearing = How many lives lost?”
· “Support GMH: Honk your horn!”
· “Speaker and Senator Lee, Call 4 Hearing!”
The hearse is a peaceful demonstration and symbolizes the consequence of the legislature’s inaction to hold a public hearing on two life-saving GMH bills. The bills, if passed, would fully fund the Guam Memorial Hospital every year. They would modernize medical equipment and facilities so that all the people of Guam, rich and poor, have access to quality healthcare right here at home. The bills were submitted on July 10. Four months have passed and a public hearing has not been scheduled by Speaker BJ Cruz or Senator Regine Biscoe Lee.
For more than 40 years now, GMH has lost as much as $30 million each year due to its mandate to treat every person who walks through its doors — regardless of their ability to pay. This has caused the Government of Guam to return to the bond market repeatedly, every few years, to borrow money to plug the financial hole caused by operational losses. It also has put GMH in a position where it is impossible to modernize and update its facilities and life-saving equipment. The two companion bills will finally address this 40-year challenge with a permanent fix.
Following the introduction of Bills 141 and 142, the Administration has asked repeatedly for a public hearing to be held, but the call for action has fallen on deaf ears. Despite everyone’s agreement that we should help our public hospital, Speaker Cruz refuses to allow public discussion on the bills and Senator Lee has been silent.
Governor Calvo sent a letter to Speaker Cruz on Wednesday asking for three things that fall under the Speaker’s authority:
1. Schedule a public hearing on these important healthcare bills that have languished at the legislature since July, and allow the people of Guam a forum to voice their views on these bills.
2. Listen to the people of Guam at the public hearing with an open mind, before arriving to a conclusion on these bills. We must listen to the public to fully understand what should and should not be compromised.
3. Vote the bills up or down without passing on the tough decisions on revenue enhancements to the very people who elected you to make these decisions.
There are two senators who have the immediate authority to call for a public hearing on these life saving bills — Speaker BJ Cruz and Senator Regine Lee. The public is encouraged to call and request a public hearing:
Speaker Benjamin Cruz- Phone: 477-2520/1, Email:
Senator Regine Lee- Phone: 472-3455/6, Email:

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