Yesterday’s annual Puerto Rican Day Parade drew its usual mix of politicians, celebrities, partiers and illicit nutcracker vendors (also, did anyone catch our querida Riobamba DJing Cuomo’s float?!). But this year, the turn up celebrations gave way to a protest against the Obama administration’s decision to cut funds for health care on the island.
Puerto Rico is in the midst of a giant financial crisis, facing a debt of $70,000 billion dollars (to put it in perspective, that’s roughly four times the debt that forced Detroit into bankruptcy). Although boricuas on the island pay the same social security and Medicare tax rates as mainland residents, the federal healthcare funding rates for the island are at half the rate of mainland states.
The PRHCC’s Change.org petition has already received over 50,000 signatures, and hundreds have chimed in on the #unidosporlasalud hashtag to demand immediate action. Learn more about the health care crisis here.