US senator thanks CNMI House for supporting FAS bill

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U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz says he will continue to fight for health insurance coverage for citizens of the Freely Associated States who reside in Hawaii.

The FAS are the independent nations of Palau, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia — Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap.

Under the Compact of Free Association between these nations and the U.S., eligible FAS citizens can enter the United States or its territories visa-free and live,  work, or study there for an unlimited period of time.

Recently, Senator Schatz, D-Hawaii wrote a letter to thank CNMI Speaker BJ Attao for the support of the CNMI House of Representatives for S.2218 or Covering Our FAS Allies Act.

Introduced by U.S. Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, the bill is co-sponsored by Schatz and  U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon.

The bill, which is still in the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, permits Medicaid coverage for FAS citizens lawfully residing in the U.S. under the Compacts of Free Association.

These FAS citizens, Schatz told Attao, “deserve access to quality and affordable healthcare.” Unfortunately, he added, they are currently ineligible for Medicaid, which is a critical source of health insurance for millions of low-income people.

“That is why Senator Hirono and I introduced the Covering our Allies Act, which would reinstate Medicaid eligibility for citizens of the Freely Associated States living in the United States,” Schatz told Attao.

“You can be assured that I will continue to fight for health insurance for COFA citizens,” he added.






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