Editorial: Struggle continues for Indian health

"There virtually is no amount of money that could, overnight, solve the problems that plague the chronically underfunded Indian Health Service: emergency rooms threatening to close; important medical care being denied for budgetary reasons. But a federal proposal to add $53 million to modernize the Native American health care system, supported by both of South Dakota's senators, is at least a step in the right direction.

For IHS, which receives $3 billion annually from the federal government, $53 million is not a staggering increase. But the program has seen few such increases over the years; clearly, this is needed.

North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan, who has led the charge on this proposed reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, called the state of Indian health care "a national embarrassment."

$53 million won't fix that. But it's at least evidence of progress."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Federal money for reservations needed (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 2/3)

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

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

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

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

Relevant Links:
National Congress of American Indians - http://www.ncai.org
Indian Health Service - http://www.ihs.gov
National Indian Health Board - http://www.nihb.org

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