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IHS officials say Indians shortchanged billions

The Indian Health Service budget is shortchanged by at least $2 billion a year, agency officials said on Tuesday.

Michael O'Grady, an assistant secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, said Congress may never fully fund the IHS. That's why the department is emphasizing prevention and other ways to keep down the costs of health care.

Cliff Wiggins, an IHS research analyst, said American Indians and Alaska Natives are shortchanged at least $1,500 a year compared to health care for non-Indians. For 1.4 million tribal members, that amounts to a disparity of more than $2 billion.

O'Grady was the keynote speaker at the health conference hosted by the Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council.

Get the Story:
Tribal Conference: Indian health care funds short (The Billings Gazette 8/25)

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