Puerto Rican groups push Congress for Medicare, Medicaid boost

Healthcare advocates in Puerto Rico wrote a letter Monday to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to call for higher reimbursement rates for Medicare and Medicaid amid the island's "crippling" healthcare crisis, according to The Hill.

"We desperately need relief from recent reductions in our rates. Without it, our ability to provide care is simply unsustainable," Jim O'Drobinak, president of the Medicaid and Medicare Advantage Product Association, wrote in a statement, according to The Hill.

More than 60 percent of Puerto Ricans are on Medicare or Medicaid, with about 1.6 million people enrolled in Medicaid. As a U.S. territory, Puerto Rico's Medicaid reimbursement rates are capped, so it foots the bill for a considerably larger portion of Medicaid than the states. The island's Medicaid program could run out of funds as early as the end of this year.

Speaker Ryan has previously vowed the House will act on legislation to help Puerto Rico restructure its debts and avoid running out funds this year, according to the report. The draft of this bill was criticized by many, however, according to the report.


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