Sen. Therese M. Terlaje has introduced two bills proposing to dedicate any additional tax revenues to address Guam’s health care needs.
Bill 35-35 proposes to use Section 30 revenues to address the urgent need the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) has to pay Medicaid claims through the end of Fiscal Year 2019.
Based on claims received, current processing, and expenditure projections, DPHSS needs approximately $16 million for local matching requirements and only has enough funding through the second quarter of FY 2019 for regular Affordable Care Act (ACA) Medicaid and Medicaid Childless Adults, states a press release from Terlaje’s office.
Bill 36-35 seeks to address the needs of Guam Memorial Hospital to ensure its Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) certification is maintained.
The Guam Memorial Hospital continues to be in dire need of capital improvements and equipment to meet the CMS requirements and ensure future Medicare funding.
The prior and current administrations have reported that the government of Guam may receive additional revenue in Section 30 Funds from the federal government in Fiscal Year 2019. The actual impacts of the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 on individual income taxes and corporate taxes in FY 2018 and projected for FY 2019 and the business privilege tax increases are still presenting themselves.
“There are a lot of unknowns as to the state of government finances at this point, however, the one thing that remains clear and consistent is that in order to access ACA federal Medicaid funds we need local matching funds and in order to ensure GMH maintains CMS certification and funding for Medicare, we need to address the multitude of concerns listed in the CMS Plan of Correction,” Terlaje said.