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Medicare PH thanks PNoy

MANILA – Washington-based Filipino American advocates of US Medicare Portability are in Manila to explain what this means to Pinoy retirees and to thank President Aquino III for promising to bring up the issue when he meets with US President Obama in June.

Eric Lachica, organizer of Medicare PH in Washington, and Loida Nicolas Lewis of US Pinoys for Good Government, said in a press release they were scheduled to meet President Aquino III on Feb. 13 “to thank him and give him pointers on the need for assertive partnership with Philippine Ambassador in Washington D.C. (Jose) Cuisia.”

Lachica said “they also look forward to some developments following an earlier meeting with Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario this week.”

Both Lachica and Lewis are in Manila to followup on the President’s promise and to brief Filipinos what Medicare Portability is all about.

“We’d like to thank President Aquino for taking a forward-looking stance and bringing this up to the Obama administration. We need his support especially when they meet in the White House. We have to work together to make his visit a success.”

Lachica said the Medicare Portability is seen to be a win-win situation, for both the US and the Philippine economies, as it will supposedly result in savings for taxpayers and Medicare, while allowing Filipinos in America to return to tap their health care benefits in the Philippines.

In his recent TV interviews in Manila, Lachica said about 100 Fil-Am immigrant professionals retire every day. But while

they can take their Social Security pension and savings anywhere in the world, it is a different story for their Medicare in-patient, out-patient and prescription coverage overseas, unlike private medical insurance.

He said Medicare portability is designed to allow retired

Filipino-American immigrant professionals access to their Medicare benefits at internationally-accredited hospitals and health care providers in the Philippines.

“We expect a $1 Billion in Medicare spending, kung payagan tayo ni US President Barack Obama and the US Congress, we have to make changes in Medicare law…. I’ll be paying $55,000 into the health care system in taxes. I’d like to retire and have a long-term stay here.”

Lachica has been interviewed by the TV networks regarding the Medicare Portability Plan for thousands of retirees who plan to go back to the Philippines.

Last month, Lachica, the organizer in the US of Medicare PH, said the persistence of Mrs. Lewis paid off when the President told a forum of businessmen that he would take up the issue of Medicare for Filipino retirees when he meets him in Washington in June.


Recalling the 20-minute open forum last month, Lachica said he asked the President about the future of Filipino American retirees and US Medicare coverage. “You can count on my requesting him (Obama) again for a consideration of accrediting more of our facilities,” Lachica quoted Aquino as saying.

Later Lachica said in his press release “we plan to meet with Loida USP4GG delegates so we can explain (to the President) the situation in Washington.’

“His government must partner with the FilAm leadership in promoting PH-US agenda with a serious lobbying campaign and a budget to get results in before the November elections. Sugod po!”, Lachica added.

Reporting on the meeting, GMA TV news said:

“President Benigno Aquino III intends to seek US accreditation for Philippine hospitals so Americans can use their medical insurance in paying for medical services in the Philippines.  Aquino is scheduled to meet with US President Barack Obama next June.

“You can count on my requesting him again for a consideration of accrediting more of our facilities,” Aquino said in the open forum.

Reporting on the President’s promise, Lachica said:

“The President told the forum he discussed with ‘the highest levels of the US government,’ including congressmen and US senators who recently visited the Philippines, how constraints posed by US law on accrediting Philippine hospitals may be resolved.

‘There are invitations to talk with them again when we visit the United States of America, so I will be sure to request for that liberalizing of the facilities for the retirees,” he added. Some American retirees from Guam were authorized to seek medical treatment in the Philippines, Aquino noted. ‘But we want to expand that,’ Lachica said. “

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