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  • Writer's pictureNerieth Moreno-Santana

ICYMI: MMAPA Urges Congress to Address Chronic Underfunding of Puerto Rico Health Care Programs

Last month, Medicaid and Medicare Advantage Products Association of Puerto Rico (MMAPA) President Roberto Pando Cintrón submitted a statement for the record calling on Congress to approve a long-term funding solution for Puerto Rico's federal health care programs. In his statement, Pando Cintrón highlighted that Puerto Rico falls 41% below the national average for Medicare Advantage (MA) funding and 23% below other territories, such as the U.S. Virgin Islands. 80% of seniors in Puerto Rico are enrolled in MA. The current structure of Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program also leaves the program severely underfunded. This means some of the island’s most vulnerable residents don’t have access to critical services commonly found in other parts of the U.S. Equitable funding for MA and Medicaid is a critical step for stability in the island's health care system.

The statement was submitted for the record for the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing to "examine the state of the U.S. territories." Pando Cintrón's comments on behalf of MMAPA draw attention to insufficient funding for Puerto Rico's federal health programs, including both Medicaid and MA.

"The disparate treatment of more than 3 million U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico must end,"said Pando Cintrón in his statement. "We in MMAPA look forward to working with [Congress] to ensure that the people of Puerto Rico have access to the same standards of quality health care under Medicaid enjoyed by their fellow citizens in the States, and to address the ever-widening gap in federal support for the Medicare Advantage program between Puerto Rico and the States."

Pando Cintrón's statement was echoed by Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi in written testimony submitted to the committee, underscoring the need for fair treatment and the importance of a long-term funding outcome for the island.

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