The following is a news release from Congressman Michael San Nicolas:
With the deadline for funding approaching on December 21 to avoid a federal government shutdown, Guam is positioned for a historic relief in the Medicaid program.
In the critical Appropriations Bill HR 1865 the "Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020," Guam will realize a federal matching rate of 17% local to 83% federal for FY 2020 and 2021, versus our historic matching rate of 45% local to 55% federal. "The reduction in local match is a dramatic savings for our people, as it will cost us half as much in local dollars to provide the same care," said Congressman San Nicolas. "With our hospital in desperate need of funds, this matching relief means more dollars can go directly to GMH to resolve critical issues they are facing," Congressman San Nicolas added.
Also in the Bill is a massive increase in the allotted cap on federal matching funds available. With the exception of the temporary increases that are now expiring under the Affordable Care Act, Guam's cap of available Medicaid funds would be limited to $17-$18MM and is dramatically lower than what Guam actually needs. With HR 1865 the cap will rise almost 10-fold to $127MM for FY 2020 and 2021. "Not only does this potential matching environment give us the ability to double our buying power, the cap increase allows us to further leverage our Medicaid healthcare spending to ten times what it otherwise would have been," Congressman San Nicolas explains. "I would like to thank my fellow Territory colleagues who made sure we all held the line on this, and our leadership in the House for recognizing the fact that all we are seeking is what every other American would have anywhere else in America," Congressman San Nicolas concludes.