(October 3, 2017 — Washington, D.C.) The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce this week unveiled a proposal to increase funding for Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program by $1 billion, as part of a five-year extension of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). This funding injection comes at a critical time for Puerto Rico, which was recently devastated by Hurricane Maria. The program is facing a steep funding shortfall, known as the “Medicaid Cliff,” that is projected to take effect approximately in April 2018.
“We applaud Chairman Walden, members of the committee, and Congresswoman González, for working on this proposal to provide bridge funding for Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program. The island is recovering from unprecedented damage caused by two back-to-back storms, that led to a significant humanitarian crisis,” said Carlos Mercader, executive director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration. “This funding boost will help avoid the cliff early next year and allow us to focus on the long road ahead of rebuilding Puerto Rico.”
Both the House Energy and Commerce and Senate Finance committees are planning to mark up their versions of the SCHIP extension on Wednesday.
“We appreciate the House committee’s proposed short-term fix. However, Congress will still need to consider a long-term solution to avert the Medicaid funding cliff late next year.”