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Indian Health Care Improvement Act is a sure thing!

March 23, 2010

The House finally passed the Senate’s health care reform bill plus a package of amendments late Sunday night. Today the president signed this legislation into law, marking a historic moment for health care, but especially for Indian health care. The Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA) had been included in all versions of health care reform, and the question was simply if health care reform would pass. With the House’s approval of health care reform, the IHCIA finally steps onto permanently firm ground, for the first time ever. This is huge news for Indian Country, for FCNL, and for everyone who has struggled to reauthorize this legislation for over a decade! Finally, there is permanent legislation holding the federal government to its treaty obligation to provide health care to American Indians and Alaska Natives. Because the version of the IHCIA included in both the House and the Senate bills calls for permanent reauthorization of the IHCIA, we can truly breathe easy.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 25, 2010 5:37 pm

    After five hundred years of lies and genocide, ndns maybe should wait until somebody actually receives health care from the invaders before feeling so much elation. Promises and promises have come from the government, and everyone interested can easily see what they have amounted to.

  2. M Burge permalink
    March 25, 2010 5:59 pm

    I am just so grateful that we finally have a President that truly honors American Indian/Alaska Native people. Serving on a board for a large Urban Indian Health Center for years and consistently being concerned about funding coming to an end, makes me exceptionally happy that at least there is ONE obstacle taken away from struggling Native health care centers.

    In addition, the legislation states that it will modernize and improve the centers. This is another key victory and certainly a necessity. After studying in American Indian Studies and learning about the trust responsibility, then hearing about the constant battles to retain this ‘RIGHT’ and ‘OBLIGATION’ according to treaty agreements, I have been frustrated for quite some time with the elected officials that treat this obligation as if it is a favor they are doing AND if they don’t choose to…they don’t have to. Again, I’m very thankful we finally have a President that is ‘making right’.

  3. March 25, 2010 6:44 pm

    Now all American women can join Native American women on the reservation thanks to Ben Nelson and Bart Stupak as reproductive care has been segregated or banned.
    Women’s bodies are the last colony and I see the Catholic Church still has the rights to run them.

    What’s the quote from the second world war?

    Something like this: I was silent when they came for the gays, I was silent when they came for the Jews ,I was silent when they came for (fill in the blank). When they came for me there was nobody left to speak.

  4. joseph p bell permalink
    March 25, 2010 7:46 pm


  5. Tarra Blackwolf Sabin permalink
    March 25, 2010 9:05 pm

    Past “Indian Health Care” has included such things as sterilizing native girls and women without their knowledge or consent. I’d like to read the exact wording of this bill before I’ll consider it an improvement. Washington has a long history of “doublespeak” thoroughly entrenched in their legislation, especially where Native Americans are concerned. Let’s see if the administration and Congress are willing to release a complete copy of the bill for the American public to read.

  6. Inez Steigerwald permalink
    March 25, 2010 9:29 pm

    We certainly make sure we know what’s in a bill before we endorse it. For a succinct overview of the many different things this bill does, you can go here. If you want to read the full text of the bill you can do so here.

  7. edmund permalink
    March 25, 2010 9:48 pm

    Hooray finally something has been done! Been waitin a long time finally a president with the people behind him!

  8. March 27, 2010 4:35 pm

    Thanks to FCNL for your focus on this issue for many long years. At last people on Capitol Hill and in the White House are listening.

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