ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida nonprofit groups say they fear the government shutdown could impact Medicaid for Puerto Ricans on the island. Here are 5 things to know about the potential shutdown and how it could affect Medicaid beneficiaries.
1. Unless Congress reaches a deal by November 21, the government will shut down again.
2. Under the Trump administration, the government has shut down three times. The longest shutdown occurred for more than 30 days from December 22, 2018 to January 25, 2019.
3. Marcos Vilar, Alianza for Progress executive director, said another government shutdown would impact around a million Puerto Ricans who depend on Medicaid.
4. Vilar said it could lead to thousands of Puerto Ricans leaving the island and moving to the mainland, most of them to Florida. He said it could overwhelm the Sunshine State. "It creates stress in the health care system but also in education and housing," Vilar said.
5. Vilar and other nonprofit organizers plan to meet with Florida Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio to try to convince them to support or create similar legislation to Rep. Darren Soto's bill to give Medicaid parity for U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico, for the next four years.