Bill 132 provides funding for GMHA
Wednesday, June 12th 2013, 5:24 PM ChST
GUAM - Healthcare committee chair senator Dennis Rodriguez, Jr is hoping the third time will be a charm. He along with senators Rory Respicio, Aline Yamashita and Tony Ada have cosponsored Bill 132, a measure aimed to help the flatlining finances at the Guam Memorial Hospital.
"This is the third time, the third attempt to try to get some funding to the hospital but I have always said this is a three legged approach that needs to be taken. Number one we retire the debt which is now over 18 million" Rodriguez announced.
And according to GMH Chief Financial Officer Allan Ulrich it's a debt that is accruing every single month -- as we've reported vendors have already begun cutting off providing supplies and equipment to the hospital.
"It is very important for the hospital to minimize that outstanding liability to get current with our vendors so we don't have the additional burden of the 75 thousand a month" Ulrich added.
Bill 132 would pledge two million dollars annually in compact impact money to pay a loan of up to 13 million dollars that GMH is already authorized to obtain through public law introduced in the 30th Guam Legislature. The bill has the full support of governor Eddie Calvo as well as the Guam Economic Development Authority.
GEDA's financial service manager Lester Carlson said, "We were asked to assist the senator in being able to come up with a funding source that would take the existing 25 million dollar authorization that's contained in Public Law 30-200 which only twelve million dollars was able to be secured."
Bill 132 was introduced after senator Rodriguez's Bill 20 was pulled back due to concerns from health insurance companies that would have been taxed . He then introduced substitute Bill 20 which was eventually referred back to committee during session last month. The substitute bill 20 proposed taxing gaming devices that were the subject of a five year old lawsuit and revert the revenue to GMH.