Marianas Variety

Last updateTue, 26 Mar 2019 12am







    Sunday, March 24, 2019-7:01:36A.M.






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Rob Bishop endorses Angel Demapan

THE chairman of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over the CNMI and other territories, has joined other Republican House leaders in endorsing the candidacy of Rep. Angel Aldan Demapan.

U.S. Congressman Rob Bishop of Utah said he has always been impressed with the people of the CNMI, and talking to Demapan made him realize that the Commonwealth lawmaker “reflects the same qualities of that high-caliber people found in the CNMI and would represent the people of the CNMI well in Washington.”

U.S. Congressman Rob Bishop of Utah with Rep. Angel A. Demapan of the CNMI. Contributed photo

He added, “I have no doubt that Angel would be a strong voice for the CNMI in Congress.”

Bishop visited the CNMI last year and met with the governor and other Commonwealth leaders.

Demapan said Bishop rescued the CNMI from its CW dilemma when he introduced the NMI workforce bill which became law this year.

Last week, U.S. Speaker Paul Ryan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers also endorsed Demapan.

In a statement, Demapan expressed his gratitude and appreciation for Bishop’s endorsement.

“I have had the privilege to work face to face with Chairman Bishop as he was preparing to introduce his NMI U.S. Workforce Act to save the Commonwealth’s economy for our people.

“He is a great friend of the Commonwealth and has offered to continue being of help to the Marianas. I believe this is important, especially when our representation in Congress is lackluster and driven by complacency.

“With a Republican White House over the next two years and signs that Republicans will maintain control of Congress, we have a tremendous opportunity to work with Chairman Bishop on better Medicaid benefits by electing a Republican from the Marianas,” Demapan said.

He noted that the issue of Medicaid funding is important for the CNMI. However, he also pointed out that since “Obamacare passed, the CNMI has made no progress in resolving the most crucial issues facing our Medicaid population or our healthcare system.”

Demapan said “Congress has allowed our people to be treated like second-class citizens. The CNMI and the territories are the only jurisdictions in which our healthcare needs are funded separately from the rest of America. When states like Louisiana and Mississippi are able to get more federal funding because of the income levels of their population, the territories are stuck with paying more for less.”

He said “by removing the Medicaid cap, as is the case in the other states, and having an equal formula applied to our federal-local share, the CNMI government would receive about $43 million more in federal funding than it does today.”

However, Demapan noted that there has been no effort from the CNMI delegate to get this done.

“The fact is our congressional office has made zero progress toward correcting this dramatic inequality in the territories and, after 10 years, those who need health care the most are the ones who are suffering,” he said.

“So if [Congressman] Kilili believes he has provided us with adequate representation these ten years, why do we still have our patients treated like second-class citizens, draining our limited local resources, without action from him to correct this fundamental issue facing our healthcare system?”