WASHINGTON, D.C.-Guam Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo recently joined Rep. Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii in introducing a bill that would provide additional federal funding to help defray the costs associated with providing social services to migrants from the Freely Associated States.
H.R. 3320, the Compact-Impact Reimbursement Act of 2011, would amend the Compact of Free Association Act of 1985 to authorize $185 million, for each fiscal year from 2012 through 2024, in federal Compact-Impact grants for Guam, Hawaii, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands for Compact-Impact costs.
This represents a significant increase over the current appropriation of $30 million in Compact-Impact support from the Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs. The funding would be allocated identically to how funds are currently allocated based off population estimates of Compact migrants in the affected jurisdictions.
H.R. 3320 also provides for the inclusion of Compact migrants in Medicaid coverage outside of current statutory caps established for each jurisdiction.
In the 111th Congress, Bordallo included a provision in the Affordable Care Act that increased Guam’s Medicaid cap from $13.7 million in fiscal year 2010 to $24 million in fiscal year 2011. This cap will again increase to $42 million in 2012 and to continue to increase to $58 million by 2019. Medicaid assistance provided to Compact migrants through H.R. 3320 would not count toward the annual Medicaid caps allocated to Guam.
“This bill will help address the significant funding shortfalls associated with local governments in Guam, Hawaii, American Samoa, and the CNMI providing services to Compact migrants,” said Bordallo. “Many in Congress recognize that current Compact-Impact assistance does not adequately compensate affected jurisdictions for the costs of providing these services, and this legislation provides an avenue to remedy this situation. The legislation also builds off efforts from the 111th Congress to include Compact migrants for Medicaid coverage outside the current cap. We continue to work with the State Department, the Office of Insular Affairs, and all stakeholders to address the underlying problems associated with Compact migration. I commend Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa for her leadership in introducing this legislation, and I urge my colleagues to support the bill.”