Christensen Joins Colleagues to Defend Medicaid in Territories - Introduces Medicaid Payment Fairness to the Territories Act of 2012

Delegate to Congress Donna M. Christensen joined her colleagues in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus at a press conference on Wednesday morning to protest the proposed cuts to Medicaid gained by the territories through health care reform.

“I stand with my colleagues today to remind my friends on the other side of the aisle that while we may be small territories, we will not go down without a fight,” Congresswoman Christensen said. “The Tri-Caucus along with our allies tooth and nail to obtain this funding and trust me, we will fight tooth and nail to retain it because we, like every other member of this body, represent hardworking men and women who want to preserve and protect their health and wellness, and that of their families.”

With the full support of territorial delegates, Congresswoman Christensen introduced the Medicaid Payment Fairness to the Territories Act of 2012.  The bill would increase the Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) for the Medicaid programs in the U.S. territories from 55 percent, its current level, to the highest level which is applied to any of the 50 states.

“This bill will play an integral role in helping to ensure that the Medicaid programs in the U.S. territories are financed in a more just and equitable manner,” noted Congresswoman Christensen.  “Currently, the FMAP for the U.S. Virgin Islands and other territories, when combined with the cap, make it extremely difficult for these vitally important programs to consistently meet the health and health care needs of our most vulnerable residents, those whose medical needs exceed their financial resources,” she said.

“We are not asking for special treatment, we are seeking equitable treatment,” Congresswoman Christensen said. “This bill, as well as the sustained funding of Medicaid dollars that we were able to attain through the Affordable Care Act will put our Medicaid programs on a smoother, fairer glide path to parity, resulting in Medicaid programs that truly improve the health and wellness of our people.”