Puerto Rico needs urgent Congress action: U.S. Treasury, Health chiefs

 Puerto Rico needs urgent Congress action: U.S. Treasury, Health chiefs

(Reuters) – The secretaries from the U.S. Treasury and Health insurance Human Services required fast congressional action to aid Puerto Rico beyond its economic mess, and said a bipartisan task force report did not go far enough on recommending a low-income tax credit to your commonwealth.

In directions to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Health insurance and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell reaffirmed calls to improve healthcare funding for Puerto Rico.

"We email underscore the need for additional legislation in the beginning this (congressional) session to pay auto and fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico," the letter said.

They noted that 900,000 Puerto Ricans could risk losing healthcare unless Congress took action by April.

The U.S. territory is hampered by $70 billion in financial trouble, unemployment above twice the U.S. average, a 45 percent poverty rate plus a decreasing population as locals flock to your U.S. mainland.

A congressional task force of U.S. senators and congressmen in December recommended several fixes for Puerto Rico, including boosting healthcare funding and exploring giving kauai accessibility federal Earned Taxes Credit.

The benefit for low- to moderate-income workers has been used to combat poverty, along with the National government has proposed expanding it to Puerto Rico. If ever the credit exceeds a worker's taxation liability, the govt will refund niche.

The report would not go far enough using the tax credit, Lew and Burwell said, calling the benefit a "powerful economic driver."

The task force report described healthcare in Puerto Rico as "a serious and urgent issue," but could not acknowledge solutions.

For decades, the country offered lower payments to numerous island residents under the federally sponsored Medicare and Medicaid insurance programs.?Funding for that Medicaid program to the poor, for instance, continues to be capped by Washington, spurring island officials to loan heavily through municipal bonds.

Read the Special Report here:?reut.rs/2e4T00o

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