TakeCare alleges GovGuam delegated power to private hospital

TAKECARE: The FHP Health Center, which is part of TakeCare, is shown in February at its location in Tamuning. TakeCare has sued GovGuam alleging the government delegated its power to select health care insurers to private hospital Guam Regional Medical City. David Castro/The Guam Daily Post

TakeCare alleges in a new lawsuit that the government of Guam granted a private hospital, Guam Regional Medical City, the right to exercise legislative and/or police power over all the health insurers on the island without providing any standard or safeguards.

Guam Public Law 35-2 required that bidders for the GovGuam health insurance contract for thousands of employees and retirees and their dependents should cover care at a private hospital. The law gave GRMC an advantage as the only private hospital on the island.

“TakeCare has filed this lawsuit because the government of Guam and the defendant have blatantly and flagrantly failed to correct the unconstitutional problems in Public Law 35-2,” TakeCare’s lawsuit states, in part.

The lawsuit asks the court to stop GovGuam and the Judiciary from giving GRMC the advantage.

“The Legislature has granted to GRMC, a private entity, the unilateral and unfettered right for any reason, or for no reason, to prevent or otherwise block any health insurer, also private entities, from exercising statutory rights inherent by virtue of Guam's procurement laws, regulations, and the (request for proposals) to submit a bid, unless TakeCare submits to any and all of the demands of GRMC,” the lawsuit states.

TakeCare contends GRMC has demanded that TakeCare pay off patient bills that TakeCare does not legally owe.

The initial lawsuit challenged the Judiciary’s decision to move ahead with the health insurance procurement without TakeCare. The lawsuit has been amended to include GovGuam in general.

The practical effect of Public Law 35-2 and the RFP has been to delegate the authority to GRMC to determine who can participate in the bid for GovGuam's health insurance contract, the lawsuit contends.

TakeCare has been denied its right to due process under the Constitution, the lawsuit contends.

“The Fifth and 14th Amendment to the Constitution guarantees that every person has a protected property interest that may not be deprived without due process of law,” TakeCare states.

Attorney Louie Yanza filed the complaint against the Judiciary of Guam on July 12. 

Five Guam Superior Court judges have removed themselves from the case.

Northern Marianas Superior Court Judge Robert C. Naraja will preside over the case.

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