Permanent Fix Needed for 1.5 million US Citizens, Asserts Religious Development Group
Washington DC – Medicaid funding for 1.5 million US citizens living in Puerto Rico expires on September 30, if Congress doesn't act. A subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved legislation that Congress could enact to fund the health program for the next five years.
“Poor and vulnerable people living in Puerto Rico rely on Medicaid," said Eric LeCompte the Executive Director of the religious development organization Jubilee USA Network. “If Congress does not act quickly, the impact will be devastating for Puerto Rico as the island wrestles with debt crisis, COVID and disaster recovery."
While the federal government contributes a specific percentage of Medicaid expenses for states, Puerto Rico and other US territories receive a smaller, fixed grant amount.
“While fixing the funding shortfall for five years is critical, Puerto Rico needs a permanent, long-term fix,” shared LeCompte.
In February, Jubilee USA and 19 heads of US and Puerto Rico major religious bodies signed a letter to President Biden asking for expansion and full funding of Medicaid and other child poverty relief programs. The letter signers represent leaders from the Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, United Church of Christ, Christian (Disciples) and Evangelical churches as well as the US and Puerto Rico Council of Churches, Catholic Charities, Caritas and the General Bible Society.
Read Jubilee USA's Puerto Rico Religious Leader Letter to President Biden here.