Sunday, November 23, 2008

Governors of Guam, CNMI, Virgin Islands urge more medical assistance

By Clynt Ridgell

Governor Felix Camacho and the governors of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands are seeking equity for the United States insular territories regarding Federal Medical Assistance Program temporary increases. The three governors have together signed a letter addressed to several members of the Senate as they deliberate on economic stimulus legislation.

They are urging Congress to support modification of FMAP provisions to reflect the actual health care needs of their residents and respective Medicaid programs. Currently, the territories are only afforded a 50% FMAP matching rate, while other states are given up to an 83% matching rate.

The letter, signed by the territorial governors, requests that the FMAP rate for the insular areas be statutorily set to mirror the District of Columbia at 70%.

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