SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio are marching with thousands of demonstrators in Puerto Rico to support their demand for equal treatment on federal health care.
The demonstrators are protesting the fact that Medicaid reimbursement rates in the island territory are 70 percent lower than on the U.S. mainland, while Medicare reimbursement is 40 percent lower.
Thursday's appearance by two of New York's top political figures comes two months after they announced a partnership with the U.S. territory to help it regain its financial footing amid a $72 billion public debt burden.
Nearly 70 percent of Puerto Rico's population relies on Medicare or Medicaid, and officials warn that potential cuts starting next year could total as much as $3 billion through 2017.