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Congress can save taxpayer money by avoiding Medicaid cliff in Puerto Rico

Carmelo Rios

The Hill

Apr 10, 2017

Congress has the unique opportunity to save billions of dollars by preventing Puerto Rico from falling off the Medicaid fiscal cliff. If current federal Medicaid spending there is preserved it would also prevent approximately 500,000 Puerto Ricans from losing health insurance.

A massive wave of Puerto Ricans has already moved to the states in the last decade, seeking full health care coverage not available in the Island. However, the situation will get worse if nothing is done to prevent the loss of $1.2 billion a year in Medicaid funding that expires at the end of 2017. The reality is that it costs three to four times more to treat a patient in the states than in the Island. By acting now to prevent this cliff, the federal government could save taxpayers close to $30 billion, which is the cost of providing health care for the tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans who would move to the states to receive better health care services by 2025.