By Eric Rosario
H.R. 4406 “Supporting Medicaid in the U.S. Territories Act” passed the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce unanimously today in Washington, D.C.
The measure to extend Medicaid enhancement to Guam for 8 years, matching at 83% federal to 17% local, and to provide $130 million in annual federal match funding, was championed by Congressman Michael San Nicolas and his colleagues in the House.
"This resounding bi-partisan support of HR 4406 is solid momentum for the extension of our recently enhanced federal funding for Medicaid, and will translate to over a billion dollars in cumulative healthcare funding for our Medicaid eligible, which also includes our COFA brothers and sisters," said Congressman San Nicolas.
"We will continue to apprise the people of the progress of this measure towards enactment, which next moves to the Floor of the full House for consideration," Congressman San Nicolas concludes.
Guam for years has received a 55-45 federal funding match for Medicaid insurance for eligible residents. This used to mean the government of Guam paid 45 cents for every dollar of Medicaid coverage, while the federal government matched the rest of the dollar (55 cents). Mr. San Nicolas succeeded in convincing Congress to increase the match to 83 percent (temporarily) in his first year in office, then convinced Congress to include Guam residents from the Freely Associated States under Medicaid. The net effect has been the savings of tens of millions of dollars in annual local funding.
The legislation that passed unanimously today in the Energy and Commerce Committee will extend the 83 percent federal match for eight years.