Bucks County Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick joined Congresswoman Jenniffer González-Colón, Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico, and New York Congressman Peter King,

Rep. Fitzpatrick joined Congresswoman González-Colón (R-PR) to urge passage of the PRIMA Act.

Wednesday, calling on Congress to address the healthcare crisis in Puerto Rico.

Co-sponsored by Fitzpatrick, the bipartisan Puerto Rico Integrity In Medicare Advantage (PRIMA) Act [H.R.6809], addresses a continuing healthcare crisis in Puerto Rico by eliminating Medicare Advantage Payment disparities, incentivizing doctors to stay on the island, and encouraging those who have left to return.

“Following the devastating effects of hurricanes Irma and Maria, Puerto Rico experienced an accelerated exodus of residents and physicians. Many people in our community are rightly concerned about the situation in Puerto Rico. It’s time for Congress to act,” Fitzpatrick said.

According to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Puerto Rico, the presence of doctors on the island declined from 14,000 to 9,000 between 2006 and 2016. Hurricane Maria further hastened the departure of qualified physicians from Puerto Rico, leading to a shortage of medical providers and slowing ongoing recovery efforts.

Last month, Fitzpatrick hosted Congresswoman González-Colón at a roundtable discussion in Bristol Borough with the Puerto Rican Cultural Association of Bucks County to discuss the progress being made in Puerto Rico. One year after hurricanes Irma and María devastated the island, FEMA, its federal partners and the Government of Puerto Rico are undertaking one of the largest post-disaster reconstruction and humanitarian efforts in U.S. history.

Following the roundtable, Rep. Fitzpatrick became the first Republican to cosponsor the National Commission of the Federal Response to Natural Disasters in Puerto Rico Act [H.R.6103], which would create a commission charged with examining the federal government’s preparedness and response to a tragedy that is estimated may have killed 2,975 or more people in Puerto Rico.

Additionally, the congressman has supported and cosponsored seven bills to aid Puerto Rico’s recovery and statehood efforts, post-Hurricane Maria. –pw