Before the year ends, Congress will pass a major budget bill. The spending package should include Puerto Rico funding for healthcare, jobs and poverty reduction.
Earlier this year, we joined 25 Puerto Rico and US major religious leaders to call for steps to end child poverty and promote economic recovery after a new debt deal passed on the island. Puerto Rico wrestles with a 60% child poverty rate, continuing economic crises and natural disasters. The debt settlement cut debt payments by two-thirds, a historical achievement under bankruptcy legislation we won together.
Absent Congressional action, Puerto Rico loses 85% of its Medicaid funding. The budget shortfall of more than $2.5 billion means dramatic losses in healthcare access for residents still living in the public health emergency left by Hurricane Fiona. Such staggering reduction also erodes funding for rebuilding programs and the most vulnerable.
While a lot hinges on solving the Medicaid crisis, Puerto Rico still needs a comprehensive agenda including funding for nutrition and other social programs, disaster relief and jobs. Add your voice to our highest-ranking religious leaders and help us move Congress to reset Puerto Rico on a path to recovery and protect the gains of debt relief.