your internet resource on facebook on twitter on Google+ on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
The University of Tulsa College of Law - Master's in Indian Law
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Indian Country rallies for health care in U.S. Capitol
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Filed Under: Health | National | Politics

More than 100 tribal leaders and tribal members packed the halls of Congress on Wednesday to rally for the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.

The law expired in 2000 and has been met repeatedly with opposition from the Bush administration. But supporters hoped they will finally see success this year with the help of key lawmakers.

"The time to pass the IHCIA is now," said H. Sally Smith, the chairman of the National Indian Health Board, one of the many groups behind yesterday's strong showing on Capitol Hill.

Smith and other tribal leaders were joined by Congressional backers at a raucous rally in the U.S. Capitol Building. Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-New Mexico), Sen. Max Baucus (D-Montana), Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-New Jersey) vowed to move the IHCIA reauthorization.

"We will pass this bill if it's the last thing we do," said Inouye to loud applause.

The rally followed the Senate Finance Committee's approval of the Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) portions of the bill. Baucus, the chairman of the committee, said passage was long overdue.

"We owe the first inhabitants of this nation better access to quality health care," he said at the markup yesterday morning. "We owe them medical care consistent with the medical care found in mainstream hospitals and clinics. We owe them the same medical care that we provide to the other members of our family."

The action by the Finance committee means S.1200 can receive a floor vote. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has promised to schedule debate.

But the bill still faces opposition from the Bush administration and from Republicans who closely follow the White House. Last fall, a small group of GOP Senators blocked the reauthorization on the eve of passage based on a "white paper" written by the Department of Justice.

The administration has again outlined its concerns with the bill and delivered a written statement to the Finance committee at 10:30pm on Tuesday night, Baucus said. Members of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, which previously approved the bill, said yesterday they had yet to review the document.

Over in the House, the Natural Resources Committee has approved H.R.1328. But the Ways and Means Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee have yet to report out the bill.

Tribal advocates believe it is critical for the bill to be approved this year. If it is delayed until 2008, it will be overshadowed by the presidential election, they say.

"For more than 14 years, Congress has failed to reauthorize the Indian Health Care Improvement Act and complete a comprehensive review and modernization of Native American health care. This is simply unacceptable," said Sen. Barack Obama (D-Illinois), a presidential hopeful and one of the co-sponsors of the bill.

In hopes of securing passage, the NIHB, the National Congress of American Indians, the National Council of Urban Indian Health and even the National Indian Gaming Association have made the IHCIA their top legislative priority. "Indian Country simply can't wait any longer for this legislation to be reauthorized," said NCAI President Joe Garcia.

IHCIA modernizes the way health care is delivered to American Indians and Alaska Natives. Among other provisions, it gives tribes more flexibility to address the needs of their individual communities.

IHCIA was first passed in 1976 and was reauthorized in 1992. Tribal leaders have been working on the current bill since the late 1990s.

Finance Committee Documents:
Markup | Press Release | Open Executive Session to consider the “The Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Indian Health Care Improvement Act of 2007” (September 12, 2007)

Indian Health Care Improvement Act Amendments:
H.R.1328 | S.1200

Relevant Documents:
Letter to President Bush | Letter to Alberto Gonzales | DOJ White Paper

Relevant Links:
Indian Health Service -
National Indian Health Board -

Related Stories:
Indian health care markup, rally in Washington (9/12)
Senate markup on Indian Health Care Act (9/10)
IHCIA pushed as Congress returns from break (9/5)
Rally for Indian health set in DC for September 12 (9/4)
Wild horses get more money than IHS hospital (08/16)
Senate field hearing on Indian health in Montana (8/15)
Senate field hearing on health this Wednesday (8/13)
IHCIA reauthorization exchange on Senate floor (8/2)
Editorial: Indian health care a trust responsibility (7/31)
IHS suffers from long waits, inadequate funding (7/30)
White House changed testimony on trust (7/27)
IHS slow to resolve problems under Grim (7/26)
Senate confirmation hearing for Dr. Grim of IHS (7/26)
Pill 'epidemic' strikes reservations in Montana (7/23)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee renews focus (7/20)
Direct Service Tribes discuss IHS in Denver (06/27)
Emergency room at IHS facility fails inspection (05/09)
Indian Health Care Act introduced in Senate (05/02)
California tribes seek bigger share of health funding (5/1)
Belcourt: Indian Country takes path of healthy living (4/30)
House committee approves Indian health care bill (4/26)
Montana and Wyoming tribes host health conference (04/06)
Montana lawmaker presses for health care funding (4/5)
Opinion: U.S. failing to provide Indian health care (3/22)
Kara Briggs: The fight to reauthorize IHCIA (3/21)
Urban Indians hurt by IHS policy in Montana (3/20)
Health care push continues at House hearing (3/19)
DOJ's Indian white paper a political whodunit (3/14)
House hearing on Indian Health Care Improvement (3/14)
Urban Indians under attack over health care (3/12)
Fireworks at Indian health care hearing (3/9)
Senate hearing on Indian Health reauthorization (3/8)
Urban Indians in New Mexico feel left out on health (3/8)
Some urban Indians denied care at request of IHS (3/8)
Indian Health Care Act introduced in House (3/7)
Hearings on Indian Health Care Improvement Act (3/5)
Democrats promise action at USET conference (2/14)
Harjo: GOP calls Indian health care 'race-based' (2/12)
Tribes forced to ration funds for health services (2/2)
Interview: Inadequate health care in Indian Country (01/16)
Joint hearing on Indian health care act postponed (11/14)
Final push for health care bill in 109th Congress (11/13)
White House hit over delays in health care and Cobell (10/05)
Still no Indian Health Care Improvement Act (09/22)
New Standard: U.S. failing to deliver health care (7/18)
Senate panel advances Indian health care measure (10/28)
Senate committee takes up slate of Indian bills (10/27)
Hearing on Indian Health Care Improvement Act (07/13)
Oklahoma senator loses Indian health care vote (06/29)

Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Dakota Access ramps up spending on lobbying and politicians (10/25)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe presses Obama on Dakota Access (10/25)
Indian National Finals Rodeo gears up for big crowds in Vegas (10/25)
Mark Trahant: Native candidates benefit from Clinton landslide (10/25)
Lakota Country Times: Shooting pushes Pine Ridge into action (10/25)
Native Sun News Today: Sisters want police help for stolen car (10/25)
Delphine Red Shirt: Teach the language like our elders wanted (10/25)
Jeffrey Whalen: Oglala Sioux Tribe keeps making bad decisions (10/25)
Cronkite News: Fighting the opioid epidemic in Indian Country (10/25)
Harlan McKosato: Just what are Indians supposed to look like? (10/25)
ICT series continues with George W. Bush's sovereignty gaffe (10/25)
United South and Eastern Tribes open sovereignty conference (10/25)
Navajo Nation in discussions to cultivate hemp on reservation (10/25)
Eastern Cherokees looking to build data center on reservation (10/25)
Cherokee Nation schedules job fairs for newest gaming facility (10/25)
California Nations Indian Gaming Association chooses director (10/25)
Alabama-Coushatta Tribe faces legal fight over modest casino (10/25)
Donald Trump embraces big energy projects like Dakota Access (10/24)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe can pursue own #NoDAPL complaint (10/24)
Democracy Now: New resistance in fight against Dakota Access (10/24)
Tim Giago: No one feels honored by racist & offensive mascots (10/24)
Mark Trahant: North Dakota takes #NoDAPL battle to extremes (10/24)
Cedric Sunray: Cherokee Nation tries to 'Trump' Indian arts law (10/24)
Native Sun News Today: Republican won't agree to tribal forum (10/24)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux Tribe opens nursing home (10/24)
Clara Caufield: Tribute to outgoing Northern Cheyenne leader (10/24)
Mary Annette Pember: North Dakota on #NoDAPL crackdown (10/24)
Terese Marie Mailhot: Native women deserve to be respected (10/24)
Steven Newcomb: Getting to the origins of federal Indian law (10/24)
Peter d'Errico: Seminole Tribe embraces limits on sovereignty (10/24)
Pregnant woman on Muckleshoot Reservation killed by police (10/24)
Federal authorities investigate shooting deaths at Pine Ridge (10/24)
Bus returning from Torres-Martinez Band casino in fatal crash (10/24)
Jamul Indian Village refinances $460M in casino related debt (10/24)
Firm cites 2009 National Indian Gaming Commission opinion (10/24)
Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye backs Hillary Clinton (10/21)
Twenty-Nine Palms Band disputes 'Trump, You're Fired' story (10/21)
Repatriation review committee announces additional meetings (10/21)
Native Sun News Today: Ping-pong continues in #NoDAPL case (10/21)
Lakota Country Times: 'Reel Jobs' school nurtures Lakota talent (10/21)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.