No Medicaid “cliff” for Marianas

Sep 19, 2021

Federal Medicaid for the Marianas will be $64,010,000 for fiscal year 2022. The Biden administration alerted me that rather than losing Medicaid funding on October 1, the Commonwealth will actually be eligible for more money in fiscal 2022 than we received this year. This is very good news and I thank President Biden and my former House colleague Xavier Becerra, now the Secretary of Health and Human Services, for reaching this conclusion.

I worked with the White House to get the President to include Medicaid parity for the insular areas in his FY22 budget. He agreed; and this week’s decision follows through on that commitment. The decision is based on U.S. Public Law 116-94, which we passed in 2019, when extra Medicaid money from Obamacare expired. Also important, USPL 116-94 will allow future years’ funding to increase by an inflation factor based on $64 million, eliminating future cliffs.

This is not a complete lifting of the Medicaid cap, as called for in my legislation, H.R. 265; but because the Commonwealth has not used all of the $62 million available this year, according to the Biden administration, increasing the cap to $64 million should fully protect the 38,000 people in the Marianas currently using Medicaid for their health care.