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Territories fail to block cuts on Medicaid funding

A unified voice from U.S. territorial governors and delegates failed to block Republicans from reducing Medicaid funding for the territories.Delegate Gregorio Kilili Sablan (Ind-MP) said yesterday that Republicans on the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to take away some $100 million in Medicaid funding from the CNMI and increase the CNMI's local match by 11 percent.Gov. Benigno R. Fitial joined on Tuesday Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo, U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. John P. de Jongh Jr., Puerto Rico Gov. Luis G. Fortuno, and American Samoa Gov. Togiola Tulafono in asking the Energy and Commerce Committee “to vote 'no' on de-funding the territories.”“As governors serving the over 4.5 million Americans who live in the Territories of the United States, we are writing in strong opposition to the proposed elimination of the funding provided to the Territories under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” Fitial and the other governors said.But the five territorial governors' plea fell on deaf ears as Republicans voted to de-fund the territories.The bill repeals a provision of the Affordable Care Act that provided for $6.3 billion in additional funding for Medicaid in the territories from Fiscal Year 2011 through 2019, and increased the territories' Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) from 50 percent to 55 percent.