Amata welcomes increase in federal Medicaid assistance, Nutrition, WIC and VA funding
Washington, D.C.—Saturday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata is highlighting an increase in the federal share for the Territory’s Medicaid. As a result of Coronavirus response legislation, the federal share for American Samoa will rise from 83 percent to 89.2 percent (trimming the local match to 10.8 percent). This change to FMAP will last throughout the current emergency.
Under the new law, American Samoa’s allowable Medicaid total also rises this year to $86,325,000 (an increase of $2,325,000) with another increase in Fiscal Year 2021 of $1,550,000. The legislation also eliminates work requirements, and boosts funding nationally by $500 million for Women Infants and Children (WIC), $250 million for senior nutrition programs, and will provide free COVID-19 testing through various agencies, including the VA.
“These are good steps to reduce the economic and health impact of the worldwide Coronavirus crisis on our people,” said Aumua Amata. “American Samoa will be able to keep more funds here for other needs. More major legislation in response to the Coronavirus is in the works to help the economy and ensure health care, food and services are always available.”
The Medicaid assistance is part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that President Trump signed into law on Wednesday. The new law is a $100 billion effort to help people and local governments during the pandemic.
The federal match for Medicaid in American Samoa was raised in legislation late last year from the former standard 55 percent federal share to the formula maximum of 83 percent, and only emergency response legislation such as this could take the limit higher.