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Public Statements

Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. SCHOCK. Mr. Speaker, the recent vote in support of the H.R. 5652--Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act was a necessary vote to deliver on our promise to bring an end to the fiscal nightmare in Washington. We promised to restore a better future for of children and grandchildren and the action we recently took delivers on that promise.

Section 204 of H.R. 5652 reversed two Medicaid provisions affecting the U.S. territories--increases in both the federal match rate and the cap on federal Medicaid spending--created in Obamacare. While I fully support a repeal of Obamacare, I also understand the rationale for these provisions addressed a disparity in the treatment of U.S. territories under Medicaid going back decades.

Prior to the changes, Puerto Rico paid 80 percent of its share of Medicaid, even though it has a population of almost 4 million and a poverty level percentage similar to the state of Mississippi. Unlike the 50 states, where no U.S. state pays more than 50 percent of its share, the territories operate under a different reimbursement formula. The adjustment in the Medicaid payments to territories helped to close this gap.

It is imperative for Members to recognize the importance of increased Medicaid funding to the territories, especially given the deep respect we share for our fellow U.S. citizens. I urge my colleagues to ensure equitable Medicaid funding to the territories as we move forward during this necessary budgetary negotiations.

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