Tribes and Tribal healthcare programs are harmed the most by government shutdowns.
The Indian Health Service (IHS) is the primary agency responsible for meeting the government’s healthcare responsibility to Tribes, yet the agency is funded at less than half of what is needed. Underfunded healthcare programs are particularly vulnerable during funding delays, temporary funding, and government shutdowns. The outsized impacts of these disruptions in funding echo throughout our healthcare delivery systems, Tribal governance, citizenry, and economies.
It does not need to be this way.
Advance appropriations protect Tribal healthcare programs from temporary funding and federal government shutdowns by guaranteeing funding at the start of the next fiscal year. The federal government already protects healthcare programs for seniors and veterans but continues to neglect Tribes. This discriminatory treatment needs to end this year.
Advance appropriations improve Tribal and Indian Health Service (IHS) program efficiency, reduce government waste, and save lives.
Contact Your Congressional Delegation. Tell them to enact advance appropriations for the Indian Health Service. Native lives cannot wait.
Dear Members of Congress,
As an Indian health advocate, I respectfully request you ensure the inclusion of advance appropriations for the Indian Health Service (IHS) in the upcoming Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 final spending package until mandatory funding for the agency can be achieved.
The Indian health system, including IHS, Tribal facilities, and urban Indian organizations (UIOs), is the only major federal health care provider funded through annual appropriations. If IHS were to receive advance appropriations, it would not be subject to government shutdowns, automatic sequestration cuts, and continuing resolutions as its funding for the next year would already be in place. We need this to protect Native lives!
I respectfully ask that you honor the federal trust obligation to American Indians and Alaska Natives by ensuring advance appropriations for IHS can finally be made a reality this year.
Thank you for your leadership and your commitment to upholding the United States trust responsibility.
For more information, visit: https://www.nihb.org/aian-heritage-month/advance-appropriations/