THE TRUTH ABOUT GMH
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
CHAPTER 4: THE LEGISLATURE’S NEWLY MANUFACTURED FISCAL CRISIS
Q. What is tonight’s public hearing for?
A. Tonight’s public hearing is to address the Governor’s Bill 1-9S. The bill was sent down last week, prior to Senators stripping GMH of it’s $30M dedicated funding source. The bill prioritizes the funding to address CMS concerns, and accreditation requirements.
Q. If the sales tax was repealed, why does it matter?
A. The Governor still has the option of vetoing the bill, at which time the Legislature may move to override his veto. If the bill is not overridden, GMH will have to use the $30M dedicating funding source first for the priorities related to CMS and accreditation.
Q. What will GMH do without a dedicated funding source?
A. The hospital will continue to slip deeper into a financial crisis, further compromising payments to critical vendors, retirement, and employee payroll. The hospital will also have inadequate funding to address the CMS and accreditation findings.
Q. Senators also stripped DOE’s dedicated funding source of $10M, as well as funding intended to fill the $120-$160M revenue loss caused by federal tax cuts earlier this year, what are the consequences of their actions?
A. By passing the bill, the Legislature manufactured a very real healthcare and fiscal crisis on Guam, if they don’t replace the funding. They are now back to where they were in January of this year – looking for the fix to GMH and a way to fix the massive revenue loss caused by federal tax cuts.
Q. How will GMH survive without its $30M dedicated funding source if its already struggling.
A. GMH will be forced to continue down the same failed cycle it’s been on for 40 years. It will get to the point where the Legislature will have to borrow money to pay for past operational losses to make it whole, something that would not have to happen if its dedicated funding source remained in place.
Q. Certain Senators have said that GMH’s issues are not funding issues but rather, management issues. Who’s telling the truth?
A. The evidence points directly to funding. The past 40 years, GMH has gone through six Governors, scores of board members, and dozens of Hospital Administrators, yet we find ourselves in the same place today, as we were four decades ago. Decades of audit reports and the most recent report by the Office of Public Accountability show improved efficiency, but the inability to operate without a subsidy. Highlights of the most recent audit report states:
“The hospital did decrease its operating expenses by $14M, or 11 percent to $119 million during the latest audited budget year.”
“With uncompensated care provided to those without insurance or underinsured, and the Medicare reimbursement rate at only 54 percent of the costs of delivering service care, GMHA is in constant need of a government subsidy.”
Q. How will the Government of Guam survive the funding shortfall of $120M-$160M?
A. Senators are going to have to do one of two things: 1) find another revenue stream to make up for the massive loss, or 2) make severe and deep cuts to government, which will bleed into personnel, government services, and ultimately the private sector and economy.
Q. How can we solve both these issues?
A. The most recently manufactured crisis was created by senators who voted to remove this funding earlier this week. Fixing it, requires a legislative solution.
Q. How can I help?
A. Call your senators.
Speaker BJ Cruz: 477-2520/1; firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice Speaker Therese Terlaje: 472-3586; email@example.com
Sen. Regine Biscoe Lee: 472-3455; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Thomas Ada: 473-3301/02; email@example.com
Sen. Joe S. San Agustin: 989-5445; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Telena Cruz Nelson: 989-4678; email@example.com
Sen. Michael F.Q. San Nicolas: 472-6453; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr.: 649-8638/0511; email@example.com
Sen. Frank B. Aguon: 475-4861/2; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. James Espaldon: 475-4546; email@example.com
Sen. Tommy Morrison: 478-8669; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Mary Torres: 475-6279; email@example.com
Sen. Louise B. Muna: 969-9852/9853; firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Wil Castro: 969-1225/6; email@example.com
Sen. Fernando B. Esteves: 969-3376; firstname.lastname@example.org
THE TRUTH ABOUT GMH