MMAPA Applauds Congressional Letter On The Importance Of Rebuilding Puerto Rico's Health Care Infrastructure

Ongoing Hurricane Recovery Efforts Require Greater Federal Investment

Friday, May 17, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Medicaid and Medicare Advantage Products Association (MMAPA), a non-profit organization composed of the leading Medicaid and Medicare Advantage organizations in Puerto Rico, today applauded ten members of Congress for their letter to FEMA Acting Administrator Peter Gaynor stressing the frailty of Puerto Rico's health care infrastructure.

The letter is the latest example of elected officials' efforts to raise awareness of the challenges facing Puerto Rico's health care system. The letter underscores the plight of U.S. citizens living on the island: "It is unconscionable that over 19 months after Hurricane Maria, U.S. citizens still cannot access comprehensive medical care."

"Far too many U.S. citizens living in Puerto Rico are still struggling to access the care they need," said MMAPA President Jim O'Drobinak. "We implore leaders in Congress to continue fighting for increased investment in the island's health care system, and more specifically, a comprehensive, long-term solution for Medicare Advantage and Medicaid funding on the island."

The island's health care system was already disadvantaged by long-standing federal funding inequities for critical programs like Medicare Advantage and Medicaid. Federal funding for Medicare Advantage in Puerto Rico is 43% below the U.S. average and has declined by $5 billion since 2011. Similarly, federal funding for Medicaid in Puerto Rico is more than 70% below the national average and is nearing a funding cliff in September that could grow the island's uninsured population to more than one million people.

Hurricanes Irma and Maria further worsened the situation by inflicting significant damage on Puerto Rico's infrastructure and accelerating physicians' flight to the mainland. In the months ahead, MMAPA will continue to encourage members of Congress to implement equitable funding solutions that mitigate this ongoing health care crisis.

About MMAPA
The Medicaid and Medicare Advantage Products Association of Puerto Rico (MMAPA) is a non-profit organization composed of the leading Medicaid and Medicare Advantage organizations in Puerto Rico. Founded in 2009, MMAPA is dedicated to promoting policy solutions to solve Puerto Rico's health care challenges. Follow MMAPA on Twitter at @mmapapr or visit our website, mmapapr.org.

Media Contact:
Meghan Pennington
Hamilton Place Strategies
mpennington@hamiltonps.com