The Future of Puerto Rico

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The Future of Puerto Rico

Avery Ragon, Staff Writer

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Nearly two months ago, Wanda Vázquez was sworn in as Puerto Rico’s Governor.  One of the main issues the Governor is focusing on, is reconstructing after Hurricane Maria.  Maria was a category 5 hurricane, and was the worst natural disaster recorded to hit Puerto Rico. In total, 2,975 people lost their lives, 110 homes were destroyed, 570 homes were damaged, and 3,723 homes were affected by flooding.  The reconstruction is slower than anticipated due to conditions set by Congress.  Puerto Rico has received nearly a third of $43 billion Congress put aside for hurricane recovery. Billions of dollars given to Puerto Rico have gone to companies in the U.S.  Vázquez met with Congress officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to avoid a FEMA regulation process that would delay the payment for reconstruction.  Besides the issues with reconstruction, Puerto Rico has been running out of money for Medicaid.  This is affecting about 1.4 million citizens living on the island.  The island gets less help from the government on Medicaid expenses than U.S. states do.  Puerto Rico is limited to $367 million, while the spending is totaled to $2.7 billion. If Congress doesn’t act soon the island will even run out of back-up funds. For more information visit https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/next-16-months-will-define-puerto-rico-s-future-gov-n1058771