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PDP Delegation Calls for Joint Efforts Ahead of ‘Obamacare’ Repeal

By on January 16, 2017

SAN JUAN — The House Popular Democratic Party (PDP) delegation sent a letter Monday to the president of the Puerto Rico Association of Physicians and Surgeons, Víctor Ramos Otero, to present strategies to request of the U.S. Congress a health care plan for Puerto Ricans.

PDP House Minority Leader Rafael “Tatito” Hernández Montañez, PDP Health Committee spokesperson Lydia Méndez Silva, and Rep. Jesús Manuel Ortiz González expressed their concern over the imminent repeal of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, which assigns $6.4 billion to Puerto Rico.

Rafael “Tatito” Hernández /File

PDP House Minority Leader Rafael “Tatito” Hernández Montañez. (File Photo)

“We are at your disposal to gather and expand on strategies, so together we can send a message to the U.S. Congress and the federal government to achieve the goal to have a Government Health Plan that is just for all Puerto Ricans,” they wrote.

The legislators pledged to work alongside the New Progressive Party (NPP) House Majority leadership to reach common ground and take necessary course of action.

“In these decisive times that our government health plan is going through, we must join forces and work together for our country, both at the public and private entities, nonprofit organizations, academia, and above all, the political class; to reclaim with one voice in the U.S. Congress the right to health services that rightfully correspond to us,” Méndez Silva said.

Meanwhile, Ortiz González emphasized that repealing Obamacare and effecting its substitution will have a direct impact on Puerto Ricans, especially on the approximately 1.6 million who rely on the GHP because it would hinder their access to health care. Also, the health care overhaul could worsen the local health industry, he added.

See also: Puerto Rico’s ‘healthcare crisis’ Prompts Investigation

“In light of Congress’ recent actions and the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency, Puerto Rico has to move forcefully and use all available resources to insert itself in the discussion of the imminent elimination or substitution of Obamacare, and know which tools the Federal Government will provide to us to improve our health system,” the representative said.

Hernández Montañez insisted that the PDP delegation is willing to cooperate to lobby for health care access. “We will wait for your reply to coordinate a date as soon as possible to discuss the details of these affairs,” the minority leader said in the letter to Ramos Otero.

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