Schumer Announces Plans to Push for More Puerto Rico Medicaid Funding in 2020

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said yesterday that he will press next year for longer term Federal funding for Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program.

His statement came after two developments. The first was President Trump insisting that the cost of extensions of several health programs, including Medicaid in Puerto Rico, which congressional leaders agreed to add to the $1.37 trillion agreement on funding for Fiscal Year 2020 be cut in half because of a lack of budget offsets. The President’s position led to appropriations for the first two years of a four-year agreement on Medicaid increases for Puerto Rico and the U.S.’ four other territories and only five months of appropriations for national health programs, such as Community Health Centers.

The second development was the Press Secretary of the President’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Chase Jennings, saying, “Trimming Medicaid funds to Puerto Rico from approximately $12 billion to $ 5.7 billion is a victory for President Trump and the American people. With the historic loss of money we have faced in Puerto Rico, no additional funds were needed or fiscally responsible.”

Jennings’ statement did not reflect the fact that reducing the appropriations for Medicaid in Puerto Rico from four years to two did not reduce the spending for the two years and that additional funds will still be needed – and possibly available – for FYs 2022 and ’23. The agreement increased the Federal support for Medicaid in Puerto Rico from $375.1 million this Federal fiscal year contingent on the territory matching the Federal dollars on a 45% territorial/55% Federal basis to more than $5.742 billion over two years with territorial matching by Puerto Rico at only 24%.

Jenning’s statement did, however, open the door for Schumer to charge that Trump’s action was another case of his “personal vendetta“ against and “disdain” for Puerto Rico. “It is absolutely shameful that President Trump rejected a proposal that included four years of Medicaid funding for our American citizens in Puerto Rico, which has strong support both in the House and in the Senate,” Schumer thundered.

He went on to reveal that “I intend to return to this vital issue in 2020 and I will do everything in my power to build on this multi-year agreement and provide more years of funding to fully address the main inequities facing the health system of Puerto Rico. I will not allow President Trump’s hateful revenge against Puerto Rico to get in the way so that children and families do not receive the medical care they deserve.”

2 Comments

Dennis Freytes

TRUMP DSICRIMINATES AGAINST PUERTO RICANS–AGAIN; does NOTHING for FAIR TREATMENT-EQUAL CIVIL RIGHTS for Puerto Ricans! BASTA YA! As a Patriot of True Grit—We must stand up to Trump when he does WRONG!

FACTS ARE fellow US Citizens-American Veterans in the US Territory of Puerto Rico (with more US Citizens-American Veterans than 22 States) face Federal Discrimination since 1898! For more than 120 years, Puerto Ricans have NO Federal consent of the Governed; NO Vote for US President; NO just representation in the US Congress; NO Parity in Federal Laws-Programs-Funds (shortfall since 1898 is about $100 BILLION) that other US Citizens in the States receive!

TRUMP’s actions goes against FAIRNESS-EQUALITY–the grain of our US Constitution-with Amendments! Puerto Ricans are part of “WE THE PEOPLE”! It is incongruent that 2d Class US Citizens, under our US Flag, don’t have all rights, benefits nor a permanent US Citizenship; are under the UNDEMOCRATIC control of the Federal Government!

The Federal Government should be the SERVANT of ALL “WE THE PEOPLE”; NOT the Master of some! TRUMP is UNAMERICAN! UNITED with Truth, Reason, Courage, and Civic ACTION-for the Good of ALL!

(Dennis Freytes, US Army Retired; Florida Veterans Hall of Fame (by Florida Governor, House, and Senate; with name inscribed inside the Florida Capitol. Former Commander of: Infantry, Special Forces, Airborne Units; Professor of Military Science-Director/Commander USA Officer School University of Puerto Rico; Trustee Valencia College (appointed by Governor Jeb Bush)…)

xxx OTHER FACTS–
*TRUMP-BE FAIR to Puerto Ricans; STOP Federal discrimination!*
“SILENCE TO DISCRIMINATION; SUPPORTS INJUSTICE!”
TRUMP and other Candidates must take ACTION to ensure FAIR Treatment-Equal Rights-Federal Consent of the Governed… for “ALL WE THE PEOPLE”-include fellow US Citizens-American Veterans in the US Territory of Puerto Rico!

Besides, TRUMP must stop generalizing or STEREOTYPING by calling the US Territory of Puerto Rico (with more US Citizens-American Veterans than 22 States) “one of the most corrupt places on earth”…; stop lying and with-holding needed Disaster Funds that correspond to Puerto Ricans, just as other US Citizens in the States get; not be condescending…!

Loyal US Puerto Ricans are NOT “corrupt”, but, hardworking… that make great contributions; sacrifice; shed sweat, blood, and tears for our noble US Flag! Corruption is everywhere; is a individual not Group crime that should be left to the Justice System–with DUE PROCESS! Generalizing a Group or Government as “corrupt” or political distorted deflections and spins to unjustly smear others are wrong!

TRUMP has more Associates in Jail for corruption, and others under investigation, than current cases in Puerto Rico! Besides, Washington DC, Chicago, Detriot, New York, San Francisco,…, other STATES have more cases of corruption than Puerto Rico, yet, receive Parity in Federal Funds, which PR doesn’t!

**”The only corruption case related to Hurricane Maria concerns FEMA and not the Government of PR. No more excuses and discriminatory delays. PR and its people deserve equal treatment for their recovery. FEMA and HUD must disburse the federal funds due to PR without further delay.”
– Lcdo. Pedro Pierluisi (former PR Justice Secretary; Congressman-RC; Candidate for PR Governor)

After 120+ years of Federal discrimination, THE TIME IS NOW to end partisan Political pandering! TRUMP and all Candidates must support; get the Federal Government to provide Puerto Ricans:
EQUALITY+PROGRESS=STATEHOOD with DIGNITY!
(Through non-partisan Plebiscite STATEHOOD- YES or NO, per House Bill HR 4901, introduced by PR Congresswoman (RC), and supported by about 50 US Congresspersons).
**Alternative: Move for a Plebiscite between the only non-territorial (Colonial) Options: STATEHOOD vs INDEPENDENCE (without or with PACT of Free Association).

If any Presidential or other Candidates want to get the Hispanic-Puerto Rican VOTE (2d largest Hispanic Ethnic Group in the Nation; 1st largest in Florida, concentrated in the swing I-4 corridor)–take ACTION to provide EQUALITY for Puerto Ricans which are under Federal undemocratic control since 1898-over 120+years; not keep PR shackled as the oldest US Territory in history!

UNITED with Truth, Reason, courage, and Civic Action for the Good of ALL!

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