Governor comments on Bill 174 - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Governor comments on Bill 174

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Governor Eddie Calvo issued the following statement following this afternoon's passage of Bill 174:

"I'll take a look at this bill, but this is – yet again for a third year in a row – the Democrat leadership turning important issues into political games. I wish they wouldn't do this. I wish they wouldn't play these games. The most ironic thing about all of this is that after all these years of accusing me of protecting an insurance company, the bill they are sending me does exactly that: they are protecting the interests of one insurance company."

Although the Democrats during Session said Bill 174 does not mandate an exclusive healthcare contract, the language and appropriations essentially would force an exclusive healthcare contract for GovGuam employees and retirees. Governor Eddie Calvo last week had announced that he had opted for the non-exclusive plan.

The Democrats contend that the healthcare negotiating team has disclosed that the exclusive health insurance option would realize savings of $18.7 million. The bill takes that money and appropriates it for government operations including hay pay raises and Cost of Living Allowances.

Adelup is concerned about the bill because Notices of Award have already been given to the three insurance companies under the non-exclusive plan. "Interrupting this process is more than just bad faith negotiating, but also in clear violation of procurement laws. This sets the stage for another year of protests just one month before the new fiscal year will start with a new plan year for health insurance," according to a press release.

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