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Florida Democrats Express Concern About Healthcare Funding in Puerto Rico

Florida Congressman Patrick Murphy (D), along with fellow Floridian Democratic Representatives Corrine Brown, Alcee Hasting, Debbie Wasserman Schulz, Kathy Castor, Ted Deutch, Frederica Wilson, Lois Frankel, and Gwen Graham, wrote a letter of concern to Pedro Pierluisi, Resident Commissioner for Puerto Rico.

The letter expressed concern about the healthcare crisis which is building in Puerto Rico in the wake of the debt crisis.

“Florida is home to over one million individuals of Puerto Rican birth or descent,” the letter began. “In 2014 alone, as estimated 84,000 individuals moved from Puerto Rico to the states, with 28,000 taking up residence in Florida. While we welcome those who relocate from Puerto Rico with open arms and deeply value their contributions to our state, they should not be forced to leave their homes and their families due to a rapidly deteriorating economic and health care situation.”

This reference to the increasing flow of people from Puerto Rico to the States echoes a point being made with increased frequency in the halls of Congress: if Congress refuses to help the people of Puerto Rico while they live in Puerto Rico, Congress will end up helping them after they move to the mainland.

The damage to Puerto Rico has already been severe, and the exodus of mostly working-age people will continue to make it increasingly difficult to improve Puerto Rico’s economy. Puerto Rico may receive less federal money to cope with the needs of its people, but the states will receive more as they find places for the diaspora in schools, on roads, and in hospitals. Federal spending will not be reduced, but the government of Puerto Rico will suffer along with the people who continue to live on the Island.

The letter continues with a focus on healthcare. “[I]n 2015, total healthcare spending per capita in Puerto Rico was approximately $3,400 — well below the national average of about $10,000.” The lower spending was not a reflection of less need in Puerto Rico, the letter said, and “a significant portion of this underfunding is the result of disparities between how Medicare and Medicaid funding is allocated.”

The inequality in federal healthcare funding makes it difficult for patients in Puerto Rico to get the medical attention they need, including prescription drugs and preventive care.

The letter continued with a statement affirming the need for equality in health care funding and congressional leadership.  “For the 3.5 million Americans living in Puerto Rico,” it concluded, “congressional inaction will make an unsustainable situation worse. On behalf of the one million Puerto Ricans who call Florida home, we will continue to stand with you to comprehensively address the emergency in Puerto Rico.”

Read the full Letter to Rep Pierluisi from Rep. Murphy and Other Florida Members of Congress

Read more about the inequality in federal healthcare spending in Puerto Rico

Read about real world implications of inadequate health care funding in Puerto Rico.

2 thoughts on “Florida Democrats Express Concern About Healthcare Funding in Puerto Rico”

  1. All empty talk,for no Democrat will DARE introduce a statehood admissions act & get the SUPPOSED 7 or 8 New Puerto Rican Democrats in Congress!!

    Why? Makes no sense,right?
    It’s because Democrats know three things most Americans dont.
    1. Unlike Northeast US Puerto Ricans with the “Brown” talk, Island Puerto Ricans are 75-80% white.
    2. Puerto Rico is socially conservative and as a recent court ruling demonstrates,it’s hostile to gay marriage & PC themes easily accepted by emasculated Anglo Americans.
    3. The Popular Democrat Party That opposes statehood was created by Dixiecrats to perpetually confuse & devide Puerto Rico to maintain the Unincorporated Territory for as long as possible,for Mediterranean white ex spaniards were “inferior alien races before the “Nordic American type”.

  2. It is obvious the these democratic congress persons are playing partisan politics and attempting to manipulate their puertorrican constituents. Why do they write to Mr. Pierluisi as if he were responsible for this state of affairs or had the power to correct it? They should use their power an influence to solve the root cause of these problems which is the anomaly of the current political status. Be serious. HRR.

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