Fisherman's Co-OP, Medicaid funding move forward in Congress
By Pacific Island Times News Staff The House Appropriations Committee's omnibus funding package, which was introduced today, includes provisions for Guam and the territories such as an appropriation of $3 million for the construction of a new Guam Fishermans Co-OP, and the extension of increased Medicaid coverage for the territories to the end of 2022.
"The Guam Fishermans Co-op is a legacy institution on our island initiated decades ago by our local island leaders with a vision to enhance and promote the fishing industry and way of life on our island," said Congressman Michael San Nicolas, Guam's delegate to the U.S. Congress.
He added that the direct federal funding under H.R. 2471 would enable the Co-Op to finally build a new facility to support the livelihood of local fishermen and increase access for the community to fresh fish supply.
"Additionally, we are very pleased that enhanced Medicaid funding and reimbursement rates will further be extended by H.R. 2471 to cover the remainder of the year, bringing into a third-year critical healthcare funding for our people that has resulted in an increase of federal Medicaid dollars into Guam from $56 million in 2018 to a recent high of $122mm in 2020 - a $66mm annual increase," San Nicolas added. With H.R. 2471 necessary to appropriate funds for the continued operations of the federal government, it is highly anticipated that the bill will be enacted into law in short order as it speeds resources to aid Ukraine and addresses the expiration of the continuing resolution to operate the federal government through March 11, San Nicolas said.