• The San Juan Daily Star

Governor discusses Medicaid, ARPA funds in White House meetings

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi

By The Star Staff

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Thursday that he held several meetings with White House officials and members of Congress, with whom he discussed equal treatment in the Medicaid program, the use of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and the high vaccination rate in Puerto Rico, which positions the island as the U.S. jurisdiction with the second highest number of doses administered to the population.

In a meeting with Gene Sperling -- an adviser to President Joe Biden and White House’s ARPA coordinator -- the governor gave a presentation on the use of ARPA funds on the island. Pierluisi said one of the main approaches for the money received is to promote employment so that more people can return to work.

“At the work meeting with Sperling in White House, we also talked about the creation of an alliance between the federal Department of the Treasury and the Department of the Treasury in Puerto Rico to ensure that each family that qualifies in Puerto Rico can request the benefits of the Child Tax Credit (CTC),” the governor said in a written statement. “This is extremely important to reduce poverty on the island and we have to join forces between the local and federal government and nonprofit entities so that these benefits reach the homes of our people.”

Pierluisi also met with the White House Task Force on Puerto Rico Affairs. Officials from the island were present at the meeting, including Health Secretary Carlos Mellado López; Office of Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience Executive Director Manuel Laboy Rivera; and Public-Private Partnerships Authority Executive Director Fermín Fontanés Gómez.

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