Over 268,760 people live in the U.S. Territories of Guam, the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands and American Samoa. Located in the Pacific and about 8,000 miles from the continental United States at its farthest, residents of these jurisdictions face higher rates of uninsurance and serious health disparities such as high rates of cervical, lung, and stomach cancer, breast cancer mortality, and suicide. While parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) carry the potential for significant improvements in service and access, the geographic isolation of the U.S. Territories
and existing limitations in Medicaid funding continue to present major barriers for the effective delivery and financing of health care.
On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the ACA into law. The ACA made several reforms to the nation’s health care system that will benefit Americans residing in the U.S. Territories by increasing access, ensuring quality and advancing prevention and public health.