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AARP, Others Push for Health Parity for Puerto Rico
Date:6/17/2009

the 50 states and to the United States Capitol," he finished.

Puerto Rico's health care system is strained because of federal health care funding limitations. Most pressing is the federal funding cap which restricts funding for the Island's Medicaid program to approximately $250 million per year, while the program spends approximately $1.7 billion on coverage. Puerto Rico is also subject to separate funding formulas in both the Medicare and children's health care, or SCHIP, programs. These limitations in federal health care investment in Puerto Rico affect the quality of care for all patients and place a financial strain on the government, individuals and families, employers and employees, and public and private providers.

President Obama has proposed health reform that builds on current federal programs including Medicare and Medicaid, while also creating new programs to enable all Americans to have access to health care. In the past, the President pledged to include Puerto Ricans in a reformed health system, as well as to treating Puerto Ricans equally in existing health programs, in some cases through phase-ins of benefits.

The Obama Administration included $634 billion as a "down payment" for comprehensive health care reform in its proposed budget. Since then, House and Senate leaders have been drafting reform legislation and are set to being debating proposals the week of June 21.

For more information on this issue and to learn how you can help achieve Parity for Puerto Rico, please visit www.HealthParityPR.org or www.ParidadParaPR.org.


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SOURCE AARP
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