Bill Introduced in US House of Representatives Extends Medicaid Coverage in US Territories

Bill provides a five-year funding extension for Puerto Rico and eight-year extension for other U.S. territories ahead of looming fiscal cliff

July 15, 2021

WASHINGTON D.C. –  U.S. Reps. Darren Soto (D-FL) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) introduced bipartisan legislation that was considered by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday, July 15 to extend funding for Medicaid in Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands. The legislation is supported by House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). Current funding for Medicaid in the US territories is set to expire September 30, 2021, if action is not taken.

The following is a statement from Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN):

"For individuals facing a cancer diagnosis without access to quality, affordable health coverage, insurance coverage through Medicaid can be the difference between life and death. This bipartisan bill to extend funding for Medicaid in Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands is an important step in addressing long-term funding issues that have plagued the Medicaid program in the territories and threatened access to health coverage and funding for hospital systems.

"Research shows individuals without access to health insurance are more likely than those with health insurance to be diagnosed with cancer at a later stage when the disease is more costly to treat and survival less likely. We look forward to working with Members of Congress to extend funding for this lifesaving program. Doing so is critical to reducing health disparities, especially cancer disparities, improving cancer outcomes and saving more lives from this disease."


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The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government. ACS CAN empowers volunteers across the country to make their voices heard to influence evidence-based public policy change that saves lives. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and made workplaces, including restaurants and bars, smoke-free. As we mark our 20th anniversary, we’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers and save more lives from cancer. Join the fight by visiting