Jodi Rave: Indian Health Service inadequate
"f filmmaker Michael Moore really wanted to shock the world about the lack of health care in the United States, he should have taken his film crew to an Indian reservation for scenes in his recent documentary “Sicko.”

Imagine Avis Littlewind, a 14-year-old who was lying curled in the fetal position for 90 days before killing herself because no treatment center existed to help her.

On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held a field hearing on the Crow Reservation to collect testimony from Native people suffering at the hands of the Indian Health Service, which is funded at barely half of its need.

About 200 people arrived at Crow Agency, including national health care administrators, tribal leaders and Native patients, all of whom provided testimony on the state of Indian health care. The committee will continue to accept written, faxed and e-mailed testimony for two more weeks.

“You know something?” Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., told fellow lawmakers in Washington, D.C., on July 31, in remarks recorded into the Congressional Record. “On that Indian reservation where Avis Littlewind lived, there were no mental health treatment facilities for someone to take this young lady, this young girl. One might ask and certainly should ask: ‘Why is it in this country that mental health treatment is not available to a child like this?'

Dorgan, chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, led the Crow Agency field meeting, which was requested by Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. The hearing was held as the Senate Finance Committee prepares for a Sept. 12 markup of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. The act has not been updated and reauthorized in 15 years."

Get the Story:
Jodi Rave: Congress hears testimony in Indian Country (The Missoulian 8/19)

Relevant Links:
Jodi Rave - http://www.missoulian.com/jodirave

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