Why Is Medicaid Different in Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico receives much less funding for healthcare than any of the 50 states, even though its needs are greater. In a Congressional hearing last week, Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) asked, “Why are the U.S. territories treated differently?” Dr. Anne L. Schwartz, the director of Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), responded that… Read more »

Congressional Committee Considers Puerto Rico Medicaid Challenges

Medicaid hearing

Medical care in the United States is expensive, compared to other nations. A study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, published in Health Affairs, found that Americans spend $9,892 per capita on healthcare costs each year, more than any other country in the world. This is not simply because Americans get more… Read more »

Confusing Puerto Rico Statehood with Socialism

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-K) has faced criticism for mentioning Puerto Rico during an interview on Fox News last week. While coverage of McConnell’s remarks generally implies that McConnell said statehood would be the equivalent of socialism, a close listen shows a different intention on the Senator’s part. “They plan to make the District… Read more »

UN Decolonization Plans Report on Puerto Rico

The UN Decolonization Special Committee will meet to consider the status of Puerto Rico on June 24, 2019. This committee, known as the Committee of 24 even though it now has 29 members, includes China and the Russian Federation as well as South American, African, and Caribbean nations. There are no members from Europe or… Read more »

Fundraising for a Statue of Trump

The Walkway of the Presidents, or Paseo de los Presidentes, near the capitol building in San Juan is graced by nine bronze statues of presidents: the nine who visited Puerto Rico as sitting presidents. Built in 2010, the statue installation honors presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama. From the 26th president to the 44th,… Read more »

Congress to Examine Health Care in the U.S. Territories

A Congressional subcommittee will hold a hearing tomorrow at 10:30 am to examine health care funding in the U.S. territories.  The hearing, which is entitled “Strengthening Health Care in the U.S. Territories for Today and Into the Future,” will cover Puerto Rico’s upcoming extreme loss of Medicaid funding, often referred to as the “Medicaid Cliff.”… Read more »

Is Puerto Rico America’s Forgotten Colony?

In their Foreign Affairs essay, “The forgotten colony of the United States,” Antonio Weiss and Brad Setser explain how Puerto Rico’s “perpetual crisis” is a result of its colonial status. “Since 1898, when Washington took possession of it at the end of the Spanish-American War, Puerto Rico has been neither granted sovereignty nor fully integrated… Read more »

Five Thirty Eight Hosts Norton and Hoyer in Statehood Discussion

Nate Silver of Five Thirty Eight chatted with D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on the question of statehood — initially for Washington, D.C., but quickly bringing in Puerto Rico and other possibilities as well. Galen Druke facilitated the discussion, which you can hear fully below. Druke asked Holmes Norton… Read more »

Congress Grapples with Upcoming Medicaid Cliff

The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives committee with jurisdiction over Medicaid legislation was quoted in Puerto Rico news source El Nuevo Dia as saying he wanted a temporary increase in funding for the program in Puerto Rico in excess of $1.2 billion a year passed this September to deal with the upcoming Medicaid… Read more »

Is a “Culminated Commonwealth” a Viable Status Option for Puerto Rico?

Angel Collado Schwartz provided a history lesson for readers of El Nuevo Dia in his recent article, “¿Es viable un ELA culminado?” The question is one that has been discussed for decades: can Puerto Rico develop, enhance, perfect, or in this case complete the “commonwealth” status? The answer from the federal government has been a… Read more »