Guam - A bill that could save lives for cancer patients like 29-year-old Ryan Reyes and Frankie Espinosa received positive testimony on Thursday night. Bill 170 seeks to re-appropriate $2,000,000 that was earmarked for radiation therapy at the Guam Memorial Hospital and establish the Guam Cancer Assistance and Treatment Program.
That money is readily available and would be used to pay for treatment that isn't covered by MIP or Medicaid. Reyes and Espinosa told lawmakers they were the faces of those who would directly benefit from the bill.
Reyes said, "Is this bill my last resort to change my life and the lives of other cancer patients? If so, I humbly ask that you do what you can to save my life and the lives of other cancer patients." And Espinosa said, "Please pass this bill so that I and the many others who may be in the same situation as me will be able to receive our medical treatment with the funds this bill has identified."
Public Health Director Jim Gillan told lawmakers he supports the legislation, but says the Healthcare Committee may want to consider putting caps on the assistance that will be provided since they're not sure how long the $2,000,000 will last.