Guam - Governor Eddie Calvo was scheduled to speak before island Rotaraians on the topic of improved government services. Well he did that but also took on surge of questions on several pressing issues.
During today's rotary meeting Calvo talked up the efforts of his administration to improve the island's economy and improved government services. He also recognized the hardworking Government of Guam employees who have helped steer Guam in the right direction.
But toward the tail end of the meeting with Rotarians discussions veered off into different directions as several members used the question and answer portion to hear the governor's comments on a myriad of issues such as how the Guam Memorial Hospital can remain sustainable with the Guam Regional Medical City preparing to open its doors. The question was posed whether the administration has though of possibly selling GMH and let private enterprise compete.
"I would be open to other options other than the state run hospital but there would be a big caveat the one thing of the GMH is you don't turn anyone away right now the way things are in Guam and other communities that have state run hospitals they have a purpose a purpose to provide healthcare to any and all that come in I'm always open minded but if we were to issue either selling it off or having a private company running it would have to be the first concern we would not iel9miate healthcare to any and all that consider Guam there home," he said.
In terms of the unfunded mandates of Obamacare Governor Calvo says it's time to go beyond discussion with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and go straight to the top and get a meeting with the president himself. "It seems they're just towing the same company line and they're not acknowledging that this is severe crisis by the way the Virgin Islands doesn't have health insurance any more so it's a big issue of healthcare and this is something we're going to need the whole community to work collaboratively," he said.
Meanwhile another member asked the governor about the impact this weeks' ruling from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will have to Guam. The federal appeals court ruled that Hawaii has no constitutional obligation to fill a gap left in 1996 when Congress cut healthcare funding for migrants under the Compact of Free Association.
"I saw the ruling I read it I talked to my staff this morning about it, because that's apples and oranges because there program was based on that there was a requirement federally but not locally we're different why do you think you know what MIP is the Medically Indigent Program well there's Medicaid of course its American citizenship but a local statute called MIP Medically Indigent Program the criteria for this program is 6 month residency so whatever the court ruling is in the district in Hawaii,2535 it doesn't apply for our circumstances in Guam," he said.
The governor added its unfortunate the federal government put Guam in this situation and he and his administration will continue to be forceful in discussions with leaders in Washington.