Guam leaders believe Obamacare provisions do more harm than good - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Guam leaders believe Obamacare provisions do more harm than good

by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Local health insurance companies and the Legislature plan to send a message to leaders in Washington that several provisions in Obamacare are doing more harm than good here at home.

"If we need to stand on the highest mountain on Guam and shout we will do that," said committee chair on Health Senator Dennis Rodriguez Jr. He's talking about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  He along with Vice Speaker BJ Cruz and Senator Chris Duenas have introduced Resolution 316 which is a compilation of concerns raised during several roundtable discussions with stakeholders.

"There are certain provisions that have already kicked in and have been in place in our island and there's also a lot of challenges that we face," he said.

Challenges such as the implementation of a healthcare exchange system.  Guam had to opt out because   for the first year alone it would cost $74-million dollars, far in excess of the 24-million, six year allocation that the territory was slated to receive under the act.

According to Department of Revenue & Taxation regulatory program administrator John Carlos that's just one of the many inequities mandated in Obamacare. He said, "There should be more provisions of the affordable care act that should be applicable to Guam. Particularly in terms of individual mandate, employer mandate and subsidey."

Calvo's Selectcare plan administrator Frank Campillo testified in support of the resolution and hopes the legislature will pass it swiftly. He informed senators that meetings are planned in the nation's capitol at the end of the month during which the impact of Obamacare to the territories is expected to discussed.

Guam Surgery Center administrator Melissa Waibel commended senators for introducing the resolution, saying, "Unfortunately often times the territories and Guam is obviously one of those are forgotten  whenever they're putting together their programs and policy but yet they include us in its efficacy and that causes great problems and great distress for those territories."

Senator Rodriguez said he would work to get the resolution passed before the end of the month. It will then be forwarded to Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo.

The resolution is a product of multiple roundtable discussions on the impact of Obamacare to Guam. You can read the resolution at GuamLegislature.com.

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