FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 27, 2005
Schumer Meets With Puerto Rican Governor Aníbal Acevedo-Vilá
Schumer and Acevedo-Vilá discuss economic development and healthcare
Today US Senator Charles E. Schumer today met with Governor Aníbal Acevedo-Vilá of Puerto Rico in Washington, DC. The meeting touched on a wide range of issues, centering on jobs and economic development in Puerto Rico, as well as healthcare and TANF benefits.
Schumer and Acevedo-Vilá focused primarily on jobs and the economy. They discussed the extension of current tax provisions in an effort to create future tax based economic incentives for job creation in Puerto Rico. Additionally they spoke about efforts to create a greater role for high tech research and development opportunities in Puerto Rico’s economy.
Another main topic of discussion was healthcare and TANF benefits in Puerto Rico. The Commonwealth faces several healthcare challenges. With Medicare, the priority is to seek full participation in the disproportionate share hospital program (DSH) and a further transition to a reimbursement formula based on 100% of the national rate. Initiatives to remove the Medicaid cap need to be pursued in addition to efforts to obtain funding outside of the existing cap to meet critical health care needs such as for children with disabilities, breast & cervical cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other conditions. Increased Medicare Part D prescription drug support will also be pursued.
Schumer and Acevedo-Vilá have a longstanding relationship, having worked together in Congress. Together they sponsored legislation to designate certain waterways in the Caribbean National Forest in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and for other purposes. The bill was passed into law in 2002.
Acevedo-Vilá first ran for elected office in 1992 and was elected as a state representative-at-large for the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) in the Puerto Rico House of Representatives. He was reelected in 1996, and in 1997 his PDP colleagues chose him to be House minority leader. In February 1997, at the age of 37 he was elected president of the Popular Democratic Party in Puerto Rico, becoming the second-youngest Puerto Rican to hold that post.
Acevedo-Vilá was elected as resident commissioner of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in 2000, and served in the U.S. House of Representatives until he became governor in January 2005.