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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.

Legislative

Located on Capitol Hill, the National Indian Health Board is a dedicated advocate in Congress on behalf of all Tribal Governments and American Indians/Alaska Natives. We maintain a presence in the halls of Congress, working with representatives from across the country to achieve quality, lasting health care for tribal members.

In our efforts to secure quality health care we track legislation and regulations, lead discussions on health care reform, provide recommendations and analysis of the Indian Health Service budget and educate members of Congress on the federal trust responsibility for health. We also endeavor to ensure Tribes, Tribal members, and advocates have accurate and up-to-date information related to Congressional action on Tribal healthcare issues...

2020 Legislative and Policy Agenda (PDF)


What's New?

Posted July 9, 2020

House Appropriations Committee Releases FY 2021 Report with Line Item Totals for IHS Budget

Each IHS Line Item Received At Least Slight Increase Over FY 2020 Levels

As NIHB reported earlier this week , the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 spending bill, proposing to fund Indian Health Service (IHS) at just under $6.5 billion, an increase of $445 million overall above the FY 2020 enacted budget...

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Posted July 6, 2020

House Releases FY 2021 Budget for Indian Health Service

House FY 2021 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies bill proposes funding Indian Health Service at $6.5 billion, with a separate, additional $1.5 billion in emergency funds for IHS Facilities

On Monday, July 6, 2020 the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 spending bill, which has jurisdiction over the Indian Health Service (IHS) budget. Posting of the FY 2021 Interior spending bill follows the rapid release of four other FY 2021 spending bills earlier today and on Sunday July 5, in line with the full Committee's goal of marking up all twelve FY 2021 appropriations packages this week after months of inaction on appropriations due to the COVID-19 pandemic...

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Posted: December 18, 2019

Spending Deal for Fiscal Year 2020 Slated for Congressional Votes This Week

This week, Congress announced a bipartisan, bicameral agreement to fund the federal government for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. The text of the agreement was made available on Monday. The House is scheduled to vote today on the agreement's two legislative packages, and the Senate is expected to follow suit before the current Continuing Resolution expires on Friday, December 20.

The FY 2020 agreement includes $6.04 billion for the Indian Health Service, a four percent increase from the $5.80 billion appropriated to the agency in 2019.

The spending package also includes a short-term extension of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) for a period of 5 months, through May 22, 2020. NIHB has been heavily advocating for a long-term 5 year reauthorization of SDPI before the program expires this Friday, December 20; however, with negotiations ongoing regarding the legislative vehicle for long-term reauthorization of SDPI, another short-term extension was necessary to avoid program expiration. NIHB continues to stress to lawmakers the undue challenges and problems with short-term extensions, and will continue to strongly advocate for long-term reauthorization of SDPI.

For more information on how the spending agreement impacts the Indian health system, click here.



Posted: December 10, 2019

Key Congressional Leaders Announce Agreement on Health Care Legislation Including Five Years of SDPI Funding

On Sunday, December 8, a group of key members of Congress announced a bipartisan and bicameral agreement on legislation geared at lowering health costs. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR) announced the agreement with Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN). The legislative package targets surprise medical bills and addresses rising prescription drug costs. It also increases the legal age for purchasing tobacco to 21.

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Posted: December 3, 2019

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Sets December 11 Date for Weahkee Confirmation Hearing

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will hold a confirmation hearing on December 11 for RADM Michael Weahkee, who was nominated by the White House as the Indian Health Service (IHS) Director. RADM Weahkee is currently the Principal Deputy Director of the agency.

IHS has not had a permanent Director--a post that must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate--since 2015. If confirmed, RADM Weahkee would serve a four-year term at the head of IHS. The National Indian Health Board supports RADM Weahkee's nomination.

Click here to watch the confirmation hearing on December 11 at 2:30 PM Eastern.



Posted: December 3, 2019

Trump Signs Second Continuing Resolution, Government Funded through December 20

On November 21, President Trump signed the second short term Continuing Resolution (CR) of Fiscal Year 2020, funding the federal government through December 20. Included in the CR is short term reauthorization for the Special Diabetes Program for Indians and other public health extenders. These programs are now also slated to expire on December 20 unless Congress enacts long term renewal.

Congress is continuing to finish work on the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations, and lawmakers have finally agreed on overall spending numbers for each of the twelve appropriations bills, which had been holding up further appropriations negotiations. While the final spending numbers have not been made public, NIHB will provide updates on IHS appropriations as information becomes available.

For more information on the CR, click here.



Posted: December 3, 2019

Native Women's Maternal Health Resolution Introduced in Congress by Rep. Haaland

On November 21, President Trump signed the second short term Continuing Resolution (CR) of Fiscal Year 2020, funding the federal government through December 20. Included in the CR is short term reauthorization for the Special Diabetes Program for Indians and other public health extenders. These programs are now also slated to expire on December 20 unless Congress enacts long term renewal.

On November 26, Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM), one of two American Indian/Alaska Native women serving in the House of Representatives, introduced H. Res. 735 regarding maternal health in Indian Country.

This resolution recognizes the maternal health crisis among indigenous peoples throughout the United States and the importance of reducing maternal and infant mortality rates, and calls for increased federal funding for maternal health and related services for American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes and Tribal organizations, and for Native Hawaiian organizations.

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Posted: November 19, 2019

NIHB Testifies before House Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States on U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Broken Promises Report

On Tuesday, November 19, National Indian Health Board (NIHB) Chief Executive Officer, Stacy A. Bohlen, testified before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States during an oversight hearing titled: " Reviewing the Broken Promises Report: Examining the Chronic Federal Funding Shortfalls in Indian Country." ...

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Posted: November 19, 2019

NIHB Calls on the Federal Government to Honor Treaties, Trust Responsibility in Testimony to Congress on U.S. Civil Rights Commission Broken Promises Report

NIHB recommends investments in Tribal health systems, infrastructure and protection of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.

WASHINGTON, DC—November 19, 2019—The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) CEO Stacy A. Bohlen testified today before the House Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States (SCIP) on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ report, Reviewing the Broken Promises Report: Examining the Chronic Federal Funding Shortfalls in Indian Country . The report effectively contextualizes the federal government’s funding and resource shortfalls and ongoing failure to live up to its Treaty and Trust obligations on federal Indian policy, including adequate funding and access to quality health care to American Indians and Alaska Native Peoples. The report offers actionable recommendations to the President, Congress and numerous federal agencies...

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Posted: November 5, 2019

Senate Passes Interior Appropriations Bill for FY 2020

On Thursday, October 31, by a final vote of 84-9, the Senate passed its first Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 appropriations package "minibus". The four spending bills included in that minibus are Interior, Agriculture-FDA, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Transportation-HUD.

As NIHB has reported previously, the Senate appropriations package provides a lower overall funding level for the Indian Health Service (IHS) compared to the House mark. The Senate mark funds IHS at roughly $6 billion in FY 2020, compared to $6.3 billion under the House mark...

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Posted: November 5, 2019

Rep. Gallego Introduces Legislation to Exempt AI/AN Veterans from VA Co-pays

Representative Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) has introduced H.R. 4908 to exempt American Indian/Alaska Native veterans from having to pay co-pays when they access services at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The Parity in Access to Care Today (PACT Act) would fulfill the dual responsibility to provide health care services to AI/AN veterans and allow more AI/AN veterans to access VHA services.

The National Indian Health Board endorsed the legislation upon its introduction.

The bill has been referred to the House Veterans' Affairs Committee. For more information about the legislation, click here.



Posted: October 30, 2019

NIHB Testifies before House Veterans' Affairs Health Subcommittee Hearing

On Wednesday, October 30, 2019, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) testified before the House Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Health regarding health care needs for the nearly 146,000 American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Veterans in the country. Testifying on behalf of NIHB was Andrew Joseph Jr., Immediate Past Board Member-at-Large and Portland Area Representative.

The hearing represents the first time in decades that Congress has held a hearing specifically to examine issues related to health care access for AI/AN Veteran issues within both the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) and the Indian Health Service (IHS)...

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Posted: October 29, 2019

NIHB to Testify before House Veterans Affairs Health Subcommittee Hearing on Native Veterans' Health Barriers

On Wednesday, October 30, 2019, the House Veterans Affairs Health Subcommittee will hold a hearing examining health care access challenges experiences by American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans. While the oversight hearing will not be related to any pending legislation before the committee, members of the subcommittee will have the opportunity to ask federal and Tribal witnesses about issues around "the unique barriers American Indian and Alaska Native veterans continue to face when seeking access to quality, culturally competent care from VA and tribal health systems."

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Posted: October 22, 2019

NIHB Sends Letters to Congress on FY 2020 IHS Appropriations and Good Health & Wellness

Last week, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) sent two letters to Congress on funding for Indian health programs.

On October 15, NIHB wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) to prioritize funding for the Indian Health Service (IHS), which Congress has continually underfunded. In its draft appropriations legislation, the House generally maintained higher funding levels than the Senate did for IHS, and NIHB's letter to Speaker Pelosi and Chairwoman Lowey call for the House to maintain those higher levels...

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Posted: October 11, 2019

Congress Needs to Hear from Tribes on FY 2020 Appropriations

Negotiations around funding levels for federal agencies and departments are continuing in Congress. The House and Senate must agree on funding levels for the remainder of Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 by November 21. If that does not happen, Congress would have to enact another Continuing Resolution to fund the government at current levels or the government would shut down. It is crucial that Tribes engage with Congress to ensure adequate funding for Tribal health!

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Posted: October 2, 2019

SDPI Renewed Through November 21, 2019

On Friday, September 27, 2019, President Trump signed a short term funding bill--known as a Continuing Resolution (CR)--to keep the government operating while Congress continues appropriations work for Fiscal Year 2020. Included in this CR was a short term renewal for several public health programs, including the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI).

Congress now has until November 21, 2019 to enact long term renewal for SDPI. The National Indian Health Board is advocating for long term renewal of the program, and recently coordinated a postcard mailing campaign to Congress at our 2019 National Tribal Health Conference.

Currently, the Senate's proposed legislation renews SDPI for five years at $150 million, the same level of funding as every year since 2004. The House's proposed legislation renews the program at $150 million for four years.

For more information on the positive public health outcomes SDPI has supported since its creation in 1997, click here.



Posted: October 2, 2019

Cramer, Sinema Introduce Nursing Home Care for Native American Veterans Act

Last week, Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) introduced legislation to construct veteran nursing homes in Tribal communities.

S. 2558 would allow federal grants to pay for veteran nursing home construction on Tribal lands.

In its statement of support, the National Indian Health Board said, "The federal government has a dual responsibility to Native Veterans - one in recognition of their service to the country, and the other because of their political status as American Indians and Alaska Natives. The National Indian Health Board supports the Nursing Home Care for Native American Veterans Act, as it would significantly improve access to nursing homes for Native Veterans living on Tribal lands and reservations. In addition, it furthers the Trust responsibility by ensuring that Tribes are being reimbursed by the Veterans Administration for constructing these vital centers. NIHB is committed to working in a bipartisan fashion to advance this important bill."

The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs.



Posted: September 26, 2019

NIHB Testifies before Congress in Support of Advance Appropriations for Indian Programs

Chairwoman Kitcheyan Urges Congress to Support H.R. 1128 & H.R. 1135

Washington, DC.--On Wednesday September 25, 2019, National Indian Health Board (NIHB) Chairwoman Victoria Kitcheyan of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska testified before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples in support of advance appropriations for Indian programs. Securing advance appropriations has been a long-standing priority for Tribes and the National Indian Health Board to ensure better continuity and stability of health services for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

In her testimony, Chairwoman Kitcheyan reminded Congress of the federal government’s treaty and trust obligations to Tribes, which includes the provision of comprehensive health care services to American Indians and Alaska Natives. Chair Kitcheyan also highlighted the negative impacts of this year's 35-day government shutdown on the Indian health system. The Indian Health Service (IHS) was the only federal health care entity subject to the shutdown. By contrast, the Veterans Health Administration was able to continue its services uninterrupted during the shutdown because Congress enacted advance appropriations for that agency a decade ago...

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Posted: September 26, 2019

House Includes Short Term SDPI Renewal in CR

On Thursday, September 19, 2019, the House of Representatives passed a short term funding bill, also known as a Continuing Resolution (CR). The CR would fund the government at current levels until November 21, buying additional time for congressional appropriators to finish their work on Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations. Included in the CR is short term renewal for the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) and other public health extenders. This short term renewal would ensure funding for the programs remains available through November 21, 2019.

The Senate is expected to approve the CR, which has support from the White House, later this week. Congress would then have until November 21, 2019 to enact long term renewal for SDPI.

Currently, the Senate's proposed legislation renews SDPI for five years at $150 million, the same level of funding as every year since 2004. The House's proposed legislation renews the program at $150 million for four years.

For more information on the positive public health outcomes SDPI has supported since its creation in 1997, click here.



Posted: July 30, 2019

House Committee Advances SDPI Renewal at Flat Funding

On July 17, 2019, the House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced legislation to renew the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI). SDPI is a vital program that gives Tribes the tools they need to combat diabetes in their communities, through both prevention and treatment. SDPI will expire on September 30, 2019 unless Congress renews it...

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Posted: July 2, 2019

Senate Committee Advances Long Term SDPI Renewal

Last week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee advanced legislation to renew the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) for five years at the current funding level.

S. 1895, the Lower Health Care Costs Act of 2019, included renewal for many health programs under HELP's jurisdiction, including Community Health Centers and SDPI. The legislation now awaits consideration by the full Senate. Like the House legislation, the Senate's bill would extend SDPI for five years, the longest period of reauthorization since the establishment of the program.

While the consensus on Capitol Hill acknowledges SDPI's effectiveness in combating diabetes in Indian Country, the HELP committee's legislation would flat funded the program, which has offered $150 million a year to Tribal and Urban Indian health organizations since the last funding increase in 2004.

The House of Representatives, however, is considering legislation to increase SDPI's funding for the first time in fifteen years, to $200 million per year. That legislation is awaiting a vote in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.



Posted: May 28, 2019

SDPI Renewal Bill Introduced in House of Representatives!

H.R. 2680 Renews SDPI for 5 Years at $200 Million per Year This is the First Funding Increase for SDPI in 15 Years!

Call your member of Congress and urge them to support H.R. 2680 (Special Diabetes Program for Indians) and H.R. 2668 (Special Diabetes Program)

Representative Tom O'Halleran (D-AZ) has introduced legislation (H.R. 2680) to renew the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) for 5 years at $200 million per year!

H.R. 2680 reflects two longstanding Tribal goals for the program that NIHB has worked to achieve: long term reauthorization and a funding increase...

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Posted: May 28, 2019

House Appropriations Committee Passes FY 2020 Interior Bill, Includes Significant Increases for Indian Health Service

On Wednesday May 22, 2019, on a 30-22 party-line vote, the House Appropriations Committee, chaired by Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), passed a $37.3 billion Interior-EPA spending package that included top-line and line item increases to the Indian Health Service (IHS) budget. The FY 2020 Interior-EPA bill boosts spending overall by 4%, and increases the IHS budget by $537 million overall, to a total of $6.3 billion...

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Posted: May 28, 2019

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) Reintroduce CARE Act to Address Opioid Crisis

Earlier this month, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Elijah Cummings reintroduced the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act, which provides $100 billion in federal funding over a ten year period to combat the opioid epidemic, including over $800 million per year in direct funding to Tribal governments and organizations for substance and opioid use disorder prevention and treatment...

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Posted: April 30, 2019

House Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Releases Draft Legislation for FY 2020

On Monday, April 29, 2019, the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee (commonly referred to as Labor-HHS) released its draft legislation appropriating funds for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. The bill funds several key health care and public health agencies working in Indian Country, and its annual release is followed closely by NIHB and the Tribes. It is important to note that the Indian Health Service (IHS) is funded through the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, not Labor-HHS.

The bill, which still must be marked up by the Subcommittee and the full Appropriations Committee, pass the House and Senate, and be signed into law, contains several key provisions for Tribal health. Overall, the spending level is $189.8 billion for FY 2020 ($11.7 billion above FY 2019 level and $47.8 billion above the FY 2020 President's Budget Request). Of particular interest to Tribes, the bill...

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Posted: April 30, 2019

Senate Appropriations Subcommittees Release Testimony Instructions

Congress is currently crafting appropriations legislation for Fiscal Year (FY 2020), which begins on October 1, 2019. The Appropriations Committee has 12 subcommittees, each responsible for developing the legislation that will ultimately fund the agencies under its purview. Each committee accepts Outside Witness Testimony so that the public can comment on proposed appropriations levels.

Two of these twelve subcommittees are relevant to Indian health. The Interior Appropriations Subcommittee funds the Indian Health Service (IHS) and many other programs working in Indian Country. Interior Appropriations is accepting Outside Witness Testimony until Friday, May 17. Click here for instructions on how to submit testimony.

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Posted: April 16, 2019

Congress Misses Budget Deadline

The House and Senate have failed to pass a budget resolution by the April 15 deadline, meaning that future spending negotiations will lack an agreed upon outline.

Congress is currently in recess, so members are working in their home states. When Congress returns to Washington on April 29, Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader McConnell plan to begin negotiations on a budget agreement for Fiscal Year 2020. These talks will be crucial to developing a spending agreement as Congress works to avoid sequestration.

Congress has successfully averted sequestration, the across the board spending cuts that are automatically triggered if Congress does not appropriate money within its established spending caps, every year since 2013. In 2011, Congress passed the Budget Control Act in an effort to control spending by applying sequestration across every federal department and agency on every fiscal year until 2021 unless Congress agrees to impose spending caps on itself.

In a failure to uphold the trust responsibility, the 2013 sequestration impacted the Indian Health Service and Indian Country. For more information on NIHB's work to protect the Indian health system from sequestration, click here.



Posted: March 26, 2019

IHS Congressional Justification for FY 2020 Now Available

On Monday, March 25, 2019, the Indian Health Service (IHS) released its Congressional Justification (CJ) which provides additional details in support of President Trump's Budget proposal priorities to enhance the health and well-being, strengthen direct medical services and expand efforts to improve medical quality at IHS facilities.

You can view the full CJ here.

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Posted: March 5, 2019

Senator Tester Reintroduces Veterans Affairs TAC Bill

Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) reintroduced legislation to create a Tribal Advisory Committee (TAC) at the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) to advise the Secretary on Tribal issues. S. 524 would ensure Tribes have the ability to inform and advise the Secretary of the VA on matters impacting Native American veterans.

Senator Tester introduced similar legislation in 2018, and the new legislation reflects Tribal input in several key ways. Because so much of the VA's mission is health related, S. 524 now ensures representation for Tribes in each Indian Health Service (IHS) Service Area. The bill also includes a requirement that half of the TAC members be veterans themselves. The VA TAC would meet at least twice annually with the VA Secretary under the legislation, and would also submit an annual report with Tribal recommendations to the Department and to Congress...

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Posted: March 5, 2019

House Democrats Release Medicare for All Legislation

On Wednesday, February 27, 2019, Representatives Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI) introduced H.R. 1384 - Medicare for All Act of 2019. The bill would overhaul the national healthcare industry and includes significant changes to Medicare and Medicaid, private health insurance, the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, physician workforce and payment systems, and public health services. The bill has garnered 106 Democratic co-sponsors, including several committee leaders who will play critical roles in moving any such bill to the House floor. These individuals include Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern (D-MA), Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA), and Armed Services Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA)...

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Posted: March 5, 2019

NIHB Elects New Executive Board, Takes to Capitol Hill

On February 26, 2019, during the National Indian Health Board's 2019 quarterly Board of Directors Meeting, members of the Board held elections for the positions of Chairperson, Vice-Chair, Member-at-Large, and Secretary...

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Posted: March 5, 2019

Advance Appropriations Support Letter - Outreach Needed!

The Co-Chairs of the Congressional Native American Caucus are circulating a Congressional sign on letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee to support advance appropriations for the Indian Health Service (IHS) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).

As noted above, advance appropriations would mean that the IHS budget would be enacted one year in advance of the fiscal year. This would mean IHS and BIA would not be subject to government shutdowns and continuing resolutions if Congress cannot get the budget passed by the start of the fiscal year. The recent 35-day partial government shutdown demonstrated the urgency to enact Advance Appropriations for programs serving Indian Country.

We are requesting that you contact your Representatives and encourage them to sign onto the letter. The deadline to sign onto the letter is Friday, March 8...

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Posted: March 5, 2019

SDPI Letter Circulating on Capitol Hill - Tribal Outreach Needed!

The Co-Chairs of the House Diabetes Caucus are circulating a Congressional sign on letter to House leadership supporting the Special Diabetes Program, which funds type-1 research, and the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI), which supports Tribal programs focused on diabetes prevention and treatment.

Congressional authorization for SDPI will expire on September 30, 2019 unless Congress renews the program. Currently, legislation in the Senate would renew SDPI for five years at the current funding level of $150 million per year. House legislation will be introduced in the near future. The letter from the Diabetes Caucus will be a useful tool for advocates of SDPI, so NIHB is working to ensure as many congressional offices as possible sign onto the letter...

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Posted: February 26, 2019

Congressional Letter to HHS Secretary Requests CMS Cease Approval of Section 1115 Medicaid Waivers

On February 19, 2019, Senator Wyden (D-OR), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Congressman Pallone (D-NJ-6), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, submitted a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar strongly urging that the department cease approval of any and all Section 1115 demonstration waivers that "...jeopardize the health and financial security of millions of low-income Americans."...

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Posted: February 20, 2019

Trump Signs Budget Deal, IHS Funded Through September

Last Friday, February 15, 2019, President Trump signed legislation funding federal agencies through the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 and ending the risk of a second 2019 government shutdown. With this legislation now signed into law, all federal agencies are funded through the end of the fiscal year.

Overall, the Indian Health Service (IHS) will receive $5.8 billion in FY 2019, an increase over FY 2018's $5.5 billion. This continues a historic trend of bipartisan budget increases for the agency, although the Tribal Budget Formulation Workgroup recommended $6.4 billion for IHS in 2019.

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Posted: February 14, 2019

Congress Reaches Deal to Avert Government Shutdown
Passage Expected Today

Congressional leaders have submitted legislation that would end the funding impasse over border security by providing $1.375 billion for physical barriers on the U.S.-Mexico Border. The 1,100-page legislation also contains funding for 9 other federal departments and dozens federal agencies - including the Indian Health Service (IHS) - through September 30, 2019...

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Posted: January 29, 2019

Udall Introduces Bill to Protect Tribal Health from Future Shutdowns

The Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), introduced legislation to protect the Indian Health Service (IHS), the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Bureau of Indian Education from future shutdowns. The legislation, the Indian Programs Advance Appropriations Act, would fulfill a longstanding Tribal health priority by providing advance appropriations to IHS, which means Congress would enact funding for the agency a year ahead of time. The shutdown, in which Tribes had to curtail health services or cut other services to keep health facilities open in the absence of funding from IHS, highlighted the need for a long term budget solution for Tribal programs...

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Posted: January 23, 2019

Senate Bill Would Reauthorize SDPI for Five Years

The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee released S. 192, a bill to reauthorize the Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) for five years. The renewal is included in a bipartisan bill extending several current health care programs. A five-year renewal for SDPI would be the longest stretch of guaranteed funding for the program since 2002. This is a sign that Congress understands the well documented successes of the program and supports its continuation. Currently, SDPI will expire at the end of September 2019.

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Posted: January 8, 2019

Shutdown Continues, Mullin Reintroduces Bill to Fund IHS

Please help by sharing your story!

The partial government shutdown has entered its third week, and congressional leadership do not seem to be any closer to a deal with the White House to reopen the government agencies that have not been funded for Fiscal Year 2019.

As NIHB has reported, the Indian Health Service (IHS) is one of those agencies. This lapse in funding impacts both Direct Service and Self Governance Tribes. Other public health programs operating in Indian Country within HHS are funded and will continue without disruption.

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Legislative Inquiries:

Shervin Aazami, MPH
Director of Congressional Relations

910 Pennsylvania Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Phone: 202-507-4088
Email: [email protected]