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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Governor denies rumors of an ASES-Health Dept. merger

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi, at lectern

By The Star Staff

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia denied on Thursday that he is going to merge the Health Insurance Administration (ASES by its Spanish acronym) with the Department of Health, a reason given by ASES Executive Director Jorge Galvá in presenting his resignation effective Saturday.

“My government program is clear. My government program does not contemplate that merger; on the contrary, my commitment was to strengthen ASES and turn it into a Criollo CMS. CMS is the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services,” the governor said at a press conference. “And my vision, and that is how it was reflected in the campaign platform -- which is now the government program -- is to strengthen that instrumentality specifically.”

“I think the confusion comes from the fact that in the Fiscal Plan certified by the board [Financial Oversight and Management Board], ASES is envisioned to be incorporated within the Department of Health,” Pierluisi said. “But I have never, publicly or privately, endorsed that.”

When asked why then Galvá could have reached that conclusion, the governor replied that “it may be that some government officials have alluded to what I just said, that the Fiscal Plan certified by the [oversight] board raises that and perhaps that generated some controversy.”

Pierluisi also rejected chatter that the secretaries of Health and Economic Development & Commerce -- Carlos Mellado López and Manuel Cidre Miranda, respectively -- are going to resign.

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