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Senate expected to vote on Indian Health Care Act
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Filed Under: Health | Politics

The National Congress of American Indians and the National Indian Health Board are gearing up for action next week on the Indian Health Care improvement Act.

The Senate is expected to take up S.1200 on Tuesday, January 22. Debate and amendments will be considered late in the afternoon and a final vote is expected later in the evening.

"We have worked on this bill for years," NCAI President Joe Garcia and NIHB Chairman H. Sally Smith said yesterday. "It has been negotiated, amended, revised, wordsmithed and compromised. It is now in the hands of Senate leadership and we want them to move the bill."

The Indian Health Care improvement Act expired in 2000. Efforts to reauthorize it have been met with resistance from the Bush administration and some Republican Senators.

"Reauthorization of the IHCIA is critical to improve the Indian health care delivery system and to improve health care in Indian Country. Indian people suffer from some of the highest health disparities in the United States --- suicide is the number 2 cause of death for Indian youth; Indians are 2.6 times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes; and the life expectancy for Indians is nearly 6 years less than the rest of the U.S. population," Garcia and Smith said.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Documents:
Summary | Manager's Amendment | Press Release | Webcast

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

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

Relevant Links:
Indian Health Service - http://www.ihs.gov
National Indian Health Board - http://www.nihb.org

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