Amata Hails Extension of Full Federal Medicaid Match

September 19, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Thursday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata hailed House passage of an extension for American Samoa’s 100 percent federal Medicaid match through November 21, 2019.

This extension in Medicaid assistance is part of a continuing resolution to fund the federal government beyond the end of the fiscal year, September 30, 2019, that will now go to the Senate. The Continuing Appropriations Act, 2020, and Health Extenders Act of 2019, H.R. 4378, specifies that the Medicaid assistance for the Territory, which passed earlier this year in disaster relief legislation, should continue an additional eight weeks, allowing work to continue for long term assistance. The current 100 percent assistance has freed up millions of dollars in funding that otherwise would have been used as the Territory’s 45 percent standard Medicaid share.

“This bill will provide another eight weeks 100 percent Medicaid funding,” said Aumua Amata. “Without this action, the special Medicaid assistance passed because of Storm Gita would have stopped at the end of September. I will continue working for long term Medicaid changes for the Territories that could be a significant improvement over the former 45 percent match requirement for the Territory.”

Long term Medicaid relief is already underway in Congress. In July, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed major Medicaid assistance for the territories, a six-year plan including two years full federal match gradually descending to 76 percent. Congresswoman Amata participated in bipartisan development of that effort, and was an original cosponsor of the Territories Health Care Improvement Act, H.R. 3631. That bill became part of a larger bill that she also cosponsored: H.R. 2328, The Community Health Investment, Modernization, and Excellence Act.

“I appreciate the willingness to listen to our needs from all the leaders on this effort, and I’d like to thank Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Leader Kevin McCarthy, Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone and Ranking Member Greg Walden for their ongoing work,” continued Congresswoman Amata. “I’m excited to work with them to take this opportunity to strengthen our Territory’s health care and finances with a bill improving Medicaid policy for the Territories.”