Gonzalez: Puerto Rican leaders vow to protest against Obama unless White House reverses cuts to healthcare

Puerto Rican leaders both here and on the island are vowing to stage a protest against President Obama during Sunday’s annual Puerto Rican Day Parade,unless the White House moves quickly to reverse huge cuts in funding his health aides decreed last week for the Caribbean commonwealth.

On Monday, the federal agency in charge of Medicare and Medicaid infuriated many Puerto Ricans by announcing that on Jan. 1 it will slash by 11% its payments to 250,000 enrollees in island’s the Medicare Advantage program, despite plans to increase Medicare reimbursements in the 50 states by about 3%.

The cuts will mean a loss of $300 million annually to Puerto Rico’s local government and health care system, both of which are already near financial collapse.

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