Today, Roberto Pando Cintron, President of the Medicaid and Medicare Advantage Products Association of Puerto Rico (MMAPA), issued the following statement after Congress passed an appropriations package that included unprecedented Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico:
“The people of Puerto Rico need and deserve the same quality and access to health care as their fellow American citizens in the States, plain and simple. Thanks to the bipartisan leadership in Congress, and a united effort from our Puerto Rico Government leaders and community, our health care system will get critical support to continue taking the necessary steps in addressing long-standing inequities for our Medicaid beneficiaries in both the VITAL and Medicare Platino programs, which take care of our most vulnerable population,” said Roberto Pando Cintron, President of MMAPA.
"While we are pleased with and appreciate this much needed step forward, the fact is that Puerto Rico remains far from receiving equal treatment, not only in Medicaid, but also in other federal programs such as Medicare Advantage, that we, as American citizens, are entitled to. MMAPA remains committed to working with the Government of Puerto Rico to make sure that, once approved, these incremental funds are efficiently used to address basic inequities in coverage for the beneficiaries, in addition to providing the continuing support to needed provider compensation enhancements. We look forward to substantive and tangible progress in tackling critical gaps for our dual eligible beneficiaries as well, including addressing the Medicaid Wrap Around coverage (partial payment of pharmacy benefits) for the Platino program, as well as the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) benefits (beneficiaries would not have to pay from their social security for Part B benefits- such as doctor visits and other outpatient services) to our neediest beneficiaries, as it is done in the States and in the other territories. The people of Puerto Rico, especially our seniors and most vulnerable, deserve no less,” concluded Pando.
This week, Congress passed legislation to fund the federal government that included up to five years of Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico. Despite their great need for Medicaid, the American citizens of Puerto Rico receive the lowest per-capita federal Medicaid funding in the nation. Medicaid is also funded differently in Puerto Rico than in the states, at the expense of the Americans on the island. In Puerto Rico, Congress funds Medicaid with capped, short-term funds—frequently jeopardizing the island's federal Medicaid funding.