Cuomo in Puerto Rico for Healthcare Rally

By ZACH WHEELER | zachwheeler@wetmtv.com

SAN JUAN (NBC)

Cuomo in Puerto Rico Nov 5th 2015

Cuomo in Puerto Rico Nov 5th 2015

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined thousands of Puerto Ricans in San Juan at a rally Thursday on healthcare.

Tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans were demonstrating to press Washington to improve healthcare benefits for the U.S. territory, which is in the middle of a fiscal crisis. Puerto Rico receives less federal healthcare support than U.S. states. It also faces a financial crunch in 2017 that could further squeeze medicaid services.

The march shut down a major San Juan thoroughfare. Puerto Rico’s Governor said it’s a call for justice. Governor Cuomo called for fairness. “I am sorry to say that I believe the federal administration is being unfair to Puerto Rico. The way they are treating Puerto Rico is not right. This is creating a real humanitarian crisis,” Cuomo said.

New York is home to 1.1 million Puerto Ricans, the greatest number outside the island. Those attending the protest ranged from public servants to athletes. The organizers of the event said Puerto Ricans pay the same medicare taxes as states while receiving 40 percent less in reimbursement and about 70 percent less in medicaid.

Cuomo announced plans for a summit in the coming weeks to strategize ways to press Washington to address Puerto Rico’s health and fiscal crisis.

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