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Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón

Representing Puerto Rico

Jenniffer González’s bill to transform the healthcare system continues to receive strong endorsements

December 13, 2018
Press Release
Americans for Tax Reform sent a letter in support of the bill

Washington,DC- Jenniffer Gonzalez Colon received full support from Grover G. Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform for the bill of her authorship, H.R. 6809, known as PRIMA that responds to the healthcare crisis in Puerto Rico.

 

Norquist is president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a non profit organization that advocates for the taxpayer and was founded in 1985 as a request from President Reagan.

Norquist sent a letter to Congress in support of the PRIMA bill. In his letter, Norquist urges all the congressmen to join Congresswoman Gonzalez Colon in representing all Puerto Ricans and ask for their support to this bill that would greatly benefit the Island.

The Congresswoman sent a letter in recent days to the majority and minority leadership of the allocation committees, both in the House and the Senate, where she exposed the inequality of the Medicare Advantage program funding in Puerto Rico compared to the states and advocates for  PRIMA be included in the next fund allocation package.

The island's health system had been facing challenges since before the hurricanes that hit the island last year.

The H.R. 6809, addresses the continuing crisis of access to health care in Puerto Rico by eliminating disparities in Medicare Advantage (MA) payments. As a result, this will reassure doctors to remain on the island and encouraging those who left to return.

PRIMA provides a solution in reference to the deficit in the base payments for Medicare Advantage Puerto Rico and seeks to stabilize the Medicare Advantage rates in Puerto Rico for a period of three years as part of the reconstruction of healthcare infrastructure which was affected after the passage of Hurricanes Irma and María.

The majority of Medicare beneficiaries with Medicare Part A and B in Puerto Rico receive their care through local Medicare Advantage plans.

Right now, the Medicare Advantage payment rates in Puerto Rico are the lowest in the nation: 25% lower than in the Virgin Islands and 43% lower than the national average.

If this bill is approved, Puerto Rico would receive an influx of more than an additional $ 3 billion in MA funds over the next three years.

The project also requires that no less than 50% of these funds must be passed on to health providers, such as doctors, hospitals, among others.

Utilization of Medicare Advantage Plans in Puerto Rico are high compared to many U.S. states. Today, there are roughly 580,000 seniors in Puerto Rico covered through Medicare Advantage plans (almost 90 percent of those eligible for Medicare).

H.R. 6809 is co-sponsored by José Serrano (D-NY), Don Bacon (R-NE), Darren Soto (D-FL), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Peter King (R-NY), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Amata Radewagen (R-American Samoa).

This initiative of the Congresswoman has the endorsement of several public and private entities in Puerto Rico. For example, the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce, the Senate of Puerto Rico, the Board of Supervision and Financial Administration for Puerto Rico, Centro Unido Detallistas, IPA Association; medical plans, Medicaid and Medicare Advantage Products Association of Puerto Rico (MMAPA), and others.