WASHINGTON, March 20 The National Puerto RicanCoalition today urged passage by the House of the so-called HealthReconciliation measure, which contains several provisions of importance toPuerto Rico.
"Under the leadership of Speaker Pelosi, the House has negotiatedsignificant improvements to the earlier Senate version that will greatlyincrease the federal government's assistance to Puerto Rico for Medicaid,allowing Washington to reimburse the Island upwards of 80% of Medicaidexpenses," said NPRC Chairman Miguel Lausell. "Once signed into law, thesechanges will enable Puerto Rico to receive the highest medical assistancepercentage applicable to any of the 50 states or the District of Columbia.It's like taking a huge burden off the backs of the Puerto Rican people."
NPRC President Rafael Fantauzzi noted that "the new provisions added bythe House will enable Puerto Rico to participate in the new Health BenefitsExchanges, which will provide individuals and small businesses in Puerto Ricoa variety of affordable health insurance options." Fantauzzi noted that"major consumer protections, including pre-existing condition limitations andrestrictions on denials of benefits, will also be available through theExchanges."
"House and Senate negotiators have labored hard to produce a bill that,while imperfect, goes a long way toward improving health care for allAmericans, and especially in improving equality for Puerto Rico," observedLausell. "While there's much work to do - especially in the area of Medicarefunding for Puerto Rico - this legislation is a historic step forward."
SOURCE National Puerto Rican Coalition