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Clueless Gov. Mapp Celebrates The Fact That More Virgin Islanders Are Living In Abject Poverty Due To His Policies … And Therefore Eligible For Medicaid

REGAL BEAGLE: Mapp rolls out the red carpet for himself wherever he goes in the territory; he might be making movie star money, but the average person is sliding farther and farther into abject poverty thanks to his policies.

CHARLOTTE AMALIE –– An additional 19,000 Virgin Islands residents are now eligible for healthcare and prescription drug coverage under the federal Medicaid program, following the Mapp/Potter Administration’s success in getting the federal government to approve an increase the federal poverty level in the territory.

At a news conference on Friday, Gov. Kenneth Mapp said that this adjustment will amount to an additional $18 million in federal reimbursements for healthcare provided to those among the uninsured population at or below the poverty level, which has been increased from $6,500 to $11,770.  The local government will now be reimbursed 55 percent to 100 percent of the cost of medical services provided to an adjusted total of 31,000 residents.

Unless the requested increase in the official poverty level had been approved, the local government would have remained responsible for 100% of the cost of treating those previously ineligible.

Mapp said that he has asked the Legislature to approve the additional $10 million he has requested to meet the local government’s required match. The amount needed to meet the 45 percent local match requirement, he said  “is far less than what it costs to fund 100 percent of uncompensated care.”

“The Medical Assistance Program (MAP) is geared towards helping the most vulnerable in our community,” Mapp said, not speaking directly to the fact that more people are living in poverty — and therefore eligible for more federal assistance. “Even those who are able to see a doctor often cannot afford the prescribed medication, he noted. “They get sick, they deteriorate and, ultimately, they do not survive.”

The governor and the Human Services Commissioner Felicia Blyden, said that DHS personnel will begin identifying eligible clients when they require medical or other federally subsidized services, such as SNAP, so that they can be enrolled in the expanded Medical Assistance Program (MAP).

The development is expected to greatly improve cash flow at the two local hospitals, Mapp claimed, saying that they “often require cash infusions from the central government because of the amount of uncompensated care provided.”

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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