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Happy Native American Heritage Month!

November 3, 2009

November is Native American Heritage month, but Christmas came early (so to speak) for Indian health! On October 22, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her intention to include the full text of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA) in the House health care reform bill. Then last Thursday, October 29, the House introduced its amended health care reform bill, H.R. 3962 — and it contains the IHCIA, including permanent reauthorization! Legislation to reauthorize this vitally important program passed the Senate in 2008 but did not become law. The program has not been reauthorized since it expired in 2001, which means Congress hasn’t reauthorized it since 1992. However, because it’s one of the less controversial items in the health care bill, we’re hopeful that it will make it through to the end. Please consider writing to your Representative to urge them to support H.R. 3962, which includes the IHCIA.

There are several other exciting Indian-related things going on this month:

  • Opening of the Embassy of Tribal Nations (November 3)
  • PBS to air Power Paths (November 3) and other Indian-related programs (please check your local listings for the most accurate information
  • White House to host nation-to-nation conference, November 5
  • United Nations Special Rapporteur on adequate housing to attend briefing on Indian housing at new Embassy of Tribal Nations (November 7)
Are there events going on in your area? Tell us about them!

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