Sen. Boxer: It's time to reauthorize IHCIA
"After seven long years of congressional inaction, the Senate finally passed the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, a bill to protect the health and well-being of millions of our nation's Native Americans.

The legislation, which I cosponsored along with its author, Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), aims to improve the administration of Indian health programs and expand and increase access to health care for Native Americans.

Specifically, the bill would ensure that Indian health services are modernized and improved, new health care facilities are built, and new programs are implemented to address mental and behavioral health.

For the first time, Indian tribes would be able to use federal funds to provide long-term care, including hospice, home-based and community-based care for elderly and vulnerable members in their communities.

The legislation also promotes programs for tribal health services to attract and retain highly qualified health care professionals by expanding scholarship and loan forgiveness programs. And, by making more funds available for care, the bill subsequently reduces the likelihood that individuals will be denied services.

By passing this important legislation, Congress has taken a critical first step toward addressing a long list of unmet health care needs facing American Indian communities."

Get the Story:
Sen. Barbara Boxer: California's Native Americans deserve quality health care (The Eureka Times-Standard 4/2)

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

White House Document:
Statement of Administration Policy (January 22, 2008)

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

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