WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today issued the following statement regarding the President’s budget request for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for fiscal year 2017.
President Obama’s budget proposal takes steps to strengthen health programs and makes improvements to the delivery of Medicaid in the territories. Among the provisions benefiting Guam, the budget:
-Removes the cap on funding for Medicaid to better align territory Medicaid programs with those in the States;
-Expands eligibility to 100 percent of the federal poverty level in territories below this level;
-Gradually increases the share of Medicaid costs covered by the federal government as territories modernize their Medicaid program.
The improvements contained in the President’s budget build off efforts proposed by Congresswoman Bordallo and the other territorial delegates. In 2009, Bordallo introduced the Territorial Health Parity Act that contained each of the proposed changes in the President’s budget. She has also worked with HHS and CMS to address concerns of the Medicaid program in Guam and the other territories.
“I applaud President Obama for including provisions in his FY17 budget proposal to strengthen health care programs in the territories. The President’s budget includes significant improvements to the Medicaid program that would provide much needed assistance to our local governments and island residents. The proposal would remove the cap, expand eligibility to 100 percent of the federal poverty level, and increase the federal cost share for Medicaid. These are all proposals that I and my fellow delegates have proposed in the past, and the Administration’s incorporation of them into the President’s budget is a positive step toward resolving these discrepancies. I look forward to working to maintain these proposals during the appropriations process and to working with my colleagues to improve health care in the territories.”