From NBC/NJ's Mike Memoli
CAGUAS, PR – For Hillary Clinton, health care is the universal language.
She started her Saturday in the commonwealth here with an event at the San Juan Bautista Medical Center, promising as president to treat local hospitals the same as those on the mainland when it comes to Medicare reimbursements.
"Puerto Ricans pay the same Medicare taxes and deductibles as their fellow United States citizens," Clinton said. "Puerto Rican hospitals like this one must comply with the same standards. I am the only candidate committed to brining equal treatment to payment rates under Medicare for Puerto Rican hospitals."
She said she has been involved in Puerto Rican issues "for a long time," and said she tried to quadruple funding here in the SCHIP bill that was eventually vetoed.
Clinton, sporting light purple blouse and capri pants in lieu of her standard pantsuit, explained that she is "dressed for our caravanning," a Puerto Rican tradition she said she was eager to take part in.
"I have had the most wonderful experience campaigning in Puerto Rico," she said. "I have enjoyed many times marching in the Puerto Rican Day parade [in New York]. Campaigning in Puerto Rico is like one long Puerto Rican day parade. It is incredibly energizing, exciting."
Reporters are told that Clinton will ride in and around San Juan in the back of a flatbed, mostly just greeting supporters, but also stopping on occasion to deliver remarks.