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September 8, 2021

OMB to Hold Tribal Consultation on Mandatory Appropriations

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), within the White House, will hold a Tribal consultation to seek input on the development of the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Budget.

 

This Tribal consultation on the President’s FY 2023 Budget will be held via teleconference on:

 

Tribal leaders and their designees are invited to provide comments and recommendations on how the FY 2023 President’s Budget can effectively support American Indian and Alaska Native governments, organizations, communities and individuals. This includes, for example:

  • Specific feedback on the highest priority programs and activities recommended for investment in the FY 2023 budget, including associated funding levels.
  • Tribal leaders’ feedback on the treatment of these programs and activities in the FY 2023 President’s Budget in the context of those included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Budget Reconciliation process will be particularly helpful to OMB.
  • Specific technical assistance needs to support the effective use of existing resources, such as through the American Rescue Plan Act, as well as future resources, such as those included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Budget Reconciliation process.
  • Options for a potential mandatory funding proposal for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Indian Health Service (IHS), including input on the analytical considerations in setting the level for mandatory funding and how this funding should grow in subsequent years.
  • Barriers to improvement of water infrastructure for IHS and other tribal and Federal facilities.

 

Tribal leader participation will be prioritized at the consultation and we encourage registration as soon as possible. If you are having difficulty registering, please email [email protected] for alternate participation information.

 

OMB welcomes written comments as well. Please send them to [email protected] by no later than October 4, 2021.



September 8, 2021

Social Security Administration Announces COVID-19 Assistance Funds will not affect SSI Eligibility

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced that financial assistance provided by Tribal governments to assist citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic would not be counted as income for the purposes of determining eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. The SSI program is an important financial resource for low-income people who are disabled, blind, or over the age of 65. However, eligibility is governed by strict income and asset restrictions for beneficiaries. According to the Dear Tribal Leader Letter, Tribal members do not need to take an additional steps if they think that their income has been erroneously counted and the SSA will contact Tribal members if they need additional information.



September 8, 2021

Healthcare Affirmed as a Treaty Right by Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals

On August 25th, the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that access to health care was a treaty right that had been conferred to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe through the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie. In making their decision, the Court pointed to the plain language of the treaty and the past actions taken by the federal government to carry it out, including statutes such as the Snyder Act and Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA). They found that, when combined, these actions had created an expectation that these services would be provided. Read the opinion here.



September 3, 2021

Joint Letter to HHS on Mandatory Appropriations for IHS

On September 3rd, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) and seven other partner organizations responded to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Dear Tribal Leader Letter on Mandatory Appropriations. In this letter, we ask for a comprehensive, Tribally driven study in order to determine the full need of the Indian health system. NIHB also voices support for making costs associated with Contract Support Costs and Section 105(l) leases mandatory as soon as possible. Securing mandatory appropriations for the Indian Health Service has been a long-standing priority for NIHB and we will continue to work on this issue.

 

Read the Joint Letter.



September 1, 2021

CMS Support for the Public Health Emergency caused by Hurricane Ida

On September 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced specific flexibilities for Louisiana and Mississippi to support individuals in the wake of hurricane Ida.

These flexibilities include resources and waivers to ensure hospitals and clinics remain open to provide access to care for individuals affected by hurricane Ida. These flexibilities and resources also included Tribal communities and Tribal hospitals located in Louisiana and Mississippi. A current list of CMS waivers for Louisiana and Mississippi that have been in effect since the beginning of the public health emergency can be found here. CMS has also added a new 1135 Emergency Waiver along with a Public Health Emergency related inquiries webtool which can be found here.

In addition, CMS also released a link to their disaster toolkit for states that identifies a variety of flexibilities and authorities available to states who have experienced a disaster in relation to Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) operations. For Tribal hospitals or Tribal clinics that are in need of medical equipment or supplies replacements please call 1-800-633-4227.

 

For individuals who need assistance with dialysis care, please click here or reach out to this number in Mississippi 877-936-9260, in Louisiana 800-472-8664. For more information and additional resources on how CMS is providing support to these states please click here.