Legislative Chairman on the Committee on Health Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr., announces several actions to improve the Guam healthcare system. A series of bills that address the chronic shortage of primary care providers, lack of access to our providers due to lack of insurance coverage and our ability to take advantage of future innovations were introduced Friday, June 23, 2017.  

First, a new approach in delivering government sponsored health plan. Bill 133-34  The “MAÑAINA YAN MAÑE’LU ISLAND COMMUNITY HEALTH PLAN OF 2017 will replace the Medically Indigent Program.  The program consists of three parts: Mañelu, Mañelu Plus and Mañaina care.  Government will no longer solely manage this program, but will enter into a public private partnership with local insurance companies to manage the care provided. The Mañelu plan is similar to the current plan and will cover patients meeting the 100% Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Mañelu Plus allows the FSM governments to contribute their Compact funds if so desired to increase eligibility up to 200% and finally Mañaina Care focuses on those benefits specifically needed for our elderly population. 

The companion bill addresses the Medicaid population through a pilot project that will expand eligibility from 108% FPL to 200% FPL. Bill 132-34, which will be known as “The HealthCare Para Todu Plan”. Unique in this approach is the funding in which Guam will access monies set aside by the Federal government pursuant to the Affordable Care Act.  Guam was not allowed to fully participate in ACA but was given an allocation to use. Using these funds in collaboration with an employer sponsored plan, Government of Guam contribution and an employee contribution spreads the cost among many and thus lessens the burden and puts insurance coverage within reach of approximately 16,000 residents. 

Bill 131-34, establishes safeguards in statue that would ensure health dollars are accurately used on claims and expenses that improve the quality of health care. In addition provides for a system of checks and balances to protect our people from any unnecessary increase in their health insurance premiums.   

To address the chronic shortage of providers a set of seven bills was also introduced today. Bill’s 127-34 through Bill 130-34addresses partnering with military providers and giving them a pathway to volunteer in the community.

 Bill 126-34 adds another category of provider to the primary care team called “assistant physician”. This position will create a pathway for medical school graduates that have not yet been matched to a residency to serve under local physicians under a collaborative practice agreement. 

Bill 125-34 addresses our relationship with foreign and domestic physicians not licensed on Guam. This bill puts in place a temporary permit that allows these professionals to work side by side with our local professionals for a limited time and for a specific purpose. 

Finally, Bill 124-34 will allow Guam to join 18 other states in the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. This “behind the scenes” legislation makes it easier for physicians to obtain licenses to practice in multiple states. By joining this compact it increases the possibility of physicians coming to Guam and also may be incentive for military physicians to partner with our local physicians during their stay on Guam. 

Senator Dennis Rodriguez, Jr., Education Committee Chairman Senator Joe S. San Agustin,  Senators Morrison, Nelson, and Esteves introduced Bill 70-34 today relative to converting Simon A. Sanchez High School to a charter school as well as setting a clear path to finally construct a new Yigo campus.  

 

The bill is aimed to shift the burden of borrowing of over $100 million dollars through a previous bond-borrowing law to a prospective charter school, whereby, they would finance the construction of the new school and with the yearly allotments the charter school would receive which is pegged at $6500 per student.  Senator Rodriguez stated “This bill is intended to create a means to allow for the immediate rebuilding of the much-needed Simon A. Sanchez High, but not on the backs of our taxpayers, but to be paid for with annual allotments given to the charter school to educate their students.”

 

Bill 70-34 authorizes the ability to enter into a Long-term lease for the purpose of facilitating the financing, design, construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of Simon A. Sanchez high school.  In addition, there would be no construction cost appropriation for the new Simon A. Sanchez High School as the costs for the construction will be amortized over many years and paid for within the budget allotments provided to the school.  Co-sponsor of the bill, Senator Joe San Agustin stated “This is a win-win for our community.  The residents of Yigo and students of Simon Sanchez will be able to finally get the new school they need and deserve. This bill if passed, will also provide our government the ways and means to address the needs of all other public schools on Guam.”

 

The rebuilding of Simon A. Sanchez has faced many challenges over the past several years.  Although authorized through public law, continued protests regarding the procurement and selection of the contractor tasked to build the new school continues to plague the efforts to make this new campus a reality.  “The Government of Guam continues to fail the People of Guam, the residents of Yigo, especially the students of Simon Sanchez High School, by not providing a safe learning environment for the high school students of Yigo, that many other Guam students enjoy.  This bill will create a mechanism for this much-needed Simon A. Sanchez High School re-build by eliminating the bureaucratic “red-tape” of government that has continued to fail our People.” Rodriguez stated.

 

For more information, please contact the office of Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr. at 649-8638.  Si Yu’os Ma’åse’!

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 Rodriguez: Turn MIP into three privately managed programs
 Guam could be hub for Micronesia cruise industry
 Legislature makes several changes to central staff
 Rodriguez confident tourism industry will bounce back
 Ed. Board demands over $1M for Simon Sanchez High School repairs
 Union seeks hazard pay for Behavioral Health workers
 Bill 57 would work to increase access to primary, preventive care
 Rodriguez defends employees from "threats" of legislative shutdown
 Sen. Dennis Rodriguez Jr. contemplating run for Adelup
 One-stop center for veterans’ services proposed
Toduguam.com is the official website of Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr., member
I Mina’trentai Dos Na Liheslaturan Guåhan
, 33rd Guam Legislature.

CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, HOMELAND SECURITY, AND SENIOR CITIZENS
GMHADISID GuamDMH GuamGEDAGuam Homeland and Security
Ufisinan Todu Guam
The Office of Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr.
176 Serenu Avenue, Tamuning, Guam
Office Hours: M-F 8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.

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