Senate bill 11-65 proposes to amend the National Healthcare Financing Act, remove the Social Security Administration from administering the national healthcare insurance, invest the health insurance funds including the Medical Savings Fund, and transfer the responsibilities to the National Healthcare Financing Governing Committee.

The bill seeks to transfer all duties and responsibilities to the National Healthcare Financing Governing Committee no later than September 30, 2022.

The existing law gives the responsibility of investing Medical Savings Funds and National Health Insurance Funds to the Social Security Administration.  Additionally, it makes the Social Security Administrator, the administrator of the National Health Insurance under the direction of the National Healthcare Financing Governing Committee.

Legislative findings of the proposed bill state that placing the responsibility of “collecting and investing health-related funds with the Social Security Administration” was a prudent step at the time but the program has matured after 11 years.

The findings also say that OEK., through oversight hearings “have become aware that the National Healthcare Financing Governing Committee” has been hindered by the need to coordinate with the Social Security Administration, which needs to focus on Social Security related matters.”

The bill contends that investing in Social Security Fund is quite different than investing in Healthcare funds. “The Social Security Fund invests to receive predictable returns to pay predictable obligations.  In contrast, Healthcare Funds need to seek the highest possible risk-adjusted returns to pay unpredictable obligations.”

As such, according to the bill, the investment of Palau’s health-related funds should be moved from the Social Security Administration to the National Healthcare Financing Governing Committee.

The bill passed its first reading in the Senate and was assigned to Ways & Means Committee on Tuesday, May 17th.

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