Washington Report

An NIHB Publication

The Washington Report is an e-newsletter produced by the National Indian Health Board. Each issue contains a listing of current events on Capitol Hill, information on passed and upcoming legislation, Indian health policy analysis and action items.

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Legislative Action Alerts are only sent to your inbox when legislation relevant to Indian health is introduced, debated, or voted upon. These timely alerts will provide background information and a pathway for you to get involved in the issue at hand.


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The National Indian Health Board is committed to ensuring that funding for the Indian Health Service and other agencies affecting health care in Indian Country is increased. The federal promise to provide Indian health services was made long ago. The United States made this promise in a series of treaties with Tribes, exchanging compensation and benefits for Tribal land and peace. The Snyder Act of 1921 (25 USC 13) legislatively affirmed this trust responsibility. To facilitate upholding its responsibility, the federal government created the Indian Health Service (IHS) and tasked the agency with providing health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs). Since its creation in 1955, IHS has worked to fulfill the federal promise to provide health care to Native people.

In passing the Affordable Care Act, Congress also reauthorized and made permanent the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA). In renewing the IHCIA, Congress reaffirmed the duty of the federal government to American Indians and Alaska Natives, declaring that “it is the policy of this Nation, in fulfillment of its special trust responsibilities and legal obligations to Indians -- to ensure the highest possible health status for Indians and urban Indians and to provide all resources necessary to effect that policy.” For American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs), the federal budget is not just a fiscal document, but also a moral and ethical commitment. The budget request for Indian health care services reflects the extent to which the United States honors its promises of justice, health, and prosperity to Indian people. Despite some funding increases over the last several years, IHS is still far below total need and our people continue to experience some of the worst health discrepancies in the country.

The Way Indian Health is Funded Puts the Health of American Indians and Alaska Natives at Risk (PDF)

Chart of IHS Spending from FY 2010 to FY 2016 (PDF)

NIHB Statement to the Department of Health and Human Services on FY 2019 Budget Priorities (PDF)

NIHB FY 2018 Testimony to the Labor Health and Human Services (PDF)

Advance Appropriations for the Indian Health Service

Advocacy Efforts

President’s FY 2018 Budget Request:

2018 Blueprint (PDF)


Legislative Inquiries:

Caitrin McCarron Shuy, MSc
Government Relations Director
50 F St NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20001
Email: [email protected]

National Indian Health Board
50 F St NW, Suite 600 | Washington, DC 20001 | Phone: 202-507-4070 | Email: [email protected]