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New Administration Gives Hope to Improved Indian Health Care

December 2, 2009

The Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA) was recently included in the House health care bill, which passed. This was a momentous step in a decade-long struggle to narrow the gap between the health care American Indians experience, and that experienced by the rest of the U.S. population.

However, the longer, more controversial Senate health care bill does not include the IHCIA — which provides the legislative backbone to Indian health care, a trust responsibility promised to tribes by the U.S. government when it took their land. This New York Times article provides a narrative of some of the overwhelming health problems experienced on and off reservations, as well an analysis of the some of the current junctures to work towards reducing those problems.

The health care overhaul now being debated in Congress appears poised to bring the most significant improvements to the Indian health system in decades. After months of negotiations, provisions under consideration could, over time, direct streams of money to the Indian health care system and give Indians more treatment options.

As we at FCNL have been saying for months, now is a time of opportunity in Congress. And thank goodness; Indian health has been waiting long enough.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 3, 2009 11:55 pm

    Need new IHS hospital in Gallup, NM

  2. December 16, 2009 7:37 pm

    Hmmm. Is there evidence that European medicine is incompatible for Native American chemistry and blood? Could it be that the health care Native Americans need is different than the majority of health care that is currently being provided? These are just thoughts to ponder over and to explore.

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