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A bill that would substantially boost federal Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico advanced out of a U.S. House subcommittee on Thursday after lawmakers agreed to work on stricter safeguards in the wake of a government corruption scandal in the territory.

The Health Subcommittee sent the legislation, which would give the bankrupt U.S. commonwealth an additional $12 billion over four years, to the full House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

On Wednesday, U.S. law enforcement officials announced a 32-count indictment and arrests of six people, including two former high-ranking Puerto Rico government officials, who were charged with conspiracy and other crimes in connection with millions of dollars in federal Medicaid and education funds.

Angela Avila-Marrero, former executive director of Puerto Rico’s Health Insurance Administration, was indicted for her role in a scheme to steal federal Medicaid dollars through a corrupt bidding process with private contractors.

Her lawyer, Jason Gonzalez, said she pleaded not guilty to the charges. He declined to comment further.

U.S. Representative Frank Pallone, a New Jersey Democrat who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee, said while the indictments were “very troubling,” there was no time to address the allegations in the bill.

“We can’t lose sight of the fact that unless we act there will be a massive shortfall of federal funds for the Puerto Rico Medicaid program that would be devastating to the people that live there,” he said, adding he hoped lawmakers will work together to add “rigorous” oversight to the bill. Read more

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The Health Subcommittee sent the legislation, which would give the bankrupt U.S. commonwealth an additional $12 billion over four years, to the full House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The Health Subcommittee sent the legislation, which would give the bankrupt U.S. commonwealth an additional $12 billion over four years, to the full House Committee on Energy and Commerce.