Dec. 19, 2005 Delegate Donna M. Christensen said Monday that legislation to provide additional Medicaid funds for the territories inched one step closer to reality when it passed the House of Representatives early Monday morning as part of the Conference Report for the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.
The act provides a 33 percent increase in Medicaid funding in Fiscal Year 2006 and an additional increase of 66 percent in Fiscal Year 2007 to the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The measure was a joint effort of territorial delegates that included Christensen, Delegate Madeleine Bordallo of Guam, Delegate Eni Faleomaevega of American Samoa and Congressman Dan Burton of Indiana.
The measure was included in the budget reconciliation in November by Chairman Joe Barton at the request of Delegates Christensen and Bordallo along with Delegate Faleomaevega and Congressman Burton, and it is the culmination of an effort to increase the Medicaid cap that began two years ago.
"We territorial delegates are closer to our goal of providing more money for the health care system in our districts," Christensen said. "It could not have been done without the assistance of former Chairman of the House Government Affairs Committee, Congressman Dan Burton and the support of the Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Joe Barton."
If the measure passes the Senate, the Virgin Islands would see a $2.5 million increase in Medicaid Funding for FY 2006 and a $5 million increase for FY 2007. These increases, added to the Medicaid funding received in FY 05, would become the new floor for our annual Medicaid funding which will then be adjusted for inflation annually.
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