25 Mar 2010

US health care reform excludes Micronesian migrants

1:24 pm on 25 March 2010

The Health Care bill passed in the Unites States this week has failed to deliver insurance coverage for Micronesians living there.

Until the US Congress cut the benefit in 1996, people from the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau were eligible for Medicaid health coverage, and it was included in the House version of the bill.

But our correspondent in the Marshall Islands, Giff Johnson, says efforts to get the Medicaid provision included in the Senate version of the bill, which was eventually passed, were unsuccessful.

"The push that seems to be coming now from both state legislators, governors and also their US congressional representatives is to get the federal government to foot the bill for health and education services, because they make the point that the compacts of free association between the US and these countries which offer visa free travel and other benefits are federal government agreements."

Giff Johnson