House GOP's $81B emergency package doesn't include Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands

House Republicans' proposed emergency supplemental funding package is coming under fire by some Democratic lawmakers because it leaves out Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to The Hill.

The $81 billion package, proposed as part of a stopgap government spending bill, includes funding for hurricane and wildfire relief, according to the report. However, none of the money is specifically designated for Medicaid in the territories, where federal funding for the program is expected to dry up early next year without congressional action.

This has sparked criticism from some Democratic lawmakers, including Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., a ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

"It's disgraceful that the House Republicans' emergency supplemental funding package does absolutely nothing for the more than 1.6 million Americans in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands that are counting on Medicaid in the wake of overwhelming devastation," he said, according to The Hill.

Mr. Pallone called on Congress to lift the $300 million a year Medicaid cap for Puerto Rico and provide a full federal funding match for both territories. 

In response, Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said the package is primarily meant to help residents displaced by Hurricane Maria and therefore does not take into account every healthcare issue, according to The Hill.

 

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