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The Financial Express

Disaster relief, Medicaid funds for Puerto Rico

| Updated: February 12, 2018 11:01:03


A woman looks as her husband climbs down a ladder at a partially destroyed bridge, after Hurricane Maria hit the area in September, in Utuado, Puerto Rico November 9, 2017. Reuters/Files A woman looks as her husband climbs down a ladder at a partially destroyed bridge, after Hurricane Maria hit the area in September, in Utuado, Puerto Rico November 9, 2017. Reuters/Files

US Congress voted for a bipartisan spending package to end a brief government shutdown. The Senate and House approved nearly $90 billion  in recovery aid for Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Florida, Texas and California. The final legislation also includes nearly $5 billion to increase Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico, according to a global media report.

The spending bill includes more than $11 billion in recovery aid for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. More than $2 billion will be available to rebuild Puerto Rico's power grid. Moody's rating agency and the US Territory Governments estimate that more than $100 billion is needed to fully fund recovery and rebuilding efforts.

The law also includes money for Puerto Rico's Medicaid programme that serves poor populations. Until Congress acted, Puerto Rico's Medicaid funding was weeks away from running out.

Religious leaders in Puerto Rico and across the United States have advocated for Medicaid financing with Congress and the White House for more than two years.

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