2 Mar 2006

American Samoa politicians still at odds over size of hospital loan

7:09 pm on 2 March 2006

The American Samoa House of Representatives has restored to ten million US dollars a loan to help the LBJ Hospital clear its debts.

The Senate had approved only 8.5 million but when the Senate bill was given a second reading today, Representatives voted to restore the loan amount to what it was originally proposed.

The House was told by the hospital officials that they still need ten million not just to pay debts but to purchase vitally needed equipment.

Meanwhile the Chief Executive, Taufetee John Faumuina Jr, says that a two million US dollar increase in Medicaid funding this year can only be issued if the hospital comes up with a dollar for dollar match.

But he was cautious of throwing this into the loan bill for fear that any changes to the legislation at this stage may result in the loan bill not being passed.