Mr. PIERLUISI. Mr. Speaker, as a territory, Puerto Rico has always been treated unequally under Federal health programs. While the Affordable Care Act improved the island's treatment under Medicaid, a number of key inequalities remain under both Medicaid and Medicare.
Today, I am reintroducing legislation to eliminate a provision in Federal law that requires Medicare to reimburse Puerto Rico hospitals far less than Stateside hospitals.
Under the current system, Puerto Rico hospitals are paid a base rate that is about 13 percent lower than the base rate for hospitals in the States. Thus, an island hospital will receive substantially less than any urban, suburban, or rural hospital in the States for providing the same inpatient services, making it harder for island hospitals to deliver high-quality care and to remain financially sound.
This is another example of how the people of Puerto Rico are placed at a clear disadvantage in the race of life because of the island's territory status. I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will support my bill.