Kevin Abourezk: Tribes hit by Daschle withdrawal
"Rachel Joseph didn't let the withdrawal of Tom Daschle as a nominee for U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary slow her down this week.

As disappointed as she was about Daschle's departure, she didn't let it stop her from speaking before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee Thursday about the need to reauthorize the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.

"The sooner we can get the bill moved the better served we are," said Joseph, co-chair of the National Steering Committee for the Reauthorization of the IHCIA.

This week, former South Dakota Sen. Daschle withdrew his nomination for U.S. health secretary after questions over his failure to pay more than $140,000 in back taxes surfaced.

The former Senate majority leader's nomination to the country's highest health position gave many in Indian Country hope that the voluminous problems facing Indian health care might finally be addressed.

As a senator, Daschle had fought for increased funding for the Indian Health Services and was a longtime supporter of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. This week, NCAI leaders tried to focus on the immediate challenges facing Indian Country rather than on Daschle's nomination withdrawal."

Get the Story:
Kevin Abourezk: A Rollercoaster Week for Indian Country (RezNet News 2/5)

Related Stories:
Kevin Abourezk: The Year of the Indian just starting (1/30)
Kevin Abourezk: Sisters protect Wyandotte cemetery (1/23)
Kevin Abourezk: Be inspired by Obama inauguration (1/16)
Kevin Abourezk: Indian Country asks Obama for $5.4B (1/9)
Kevin Abourezk: Looking back on a year in limbo (12/19)
Kevin Abourezk: A bailout for Indian Country (12/11)
Kevin Abourezk: Optimism on Indian health bill (12/5)
Kevin Abourezk: Frank LaMere celebrates in January (11/26)
Kevin Abourezk: Daschle's chance to prove it (11/21)
Kevin Abourezk: Stereotypes and Thanksgiving (11/14)
Kevin Abourezk: Ceremony honors tribal veterans (11/7)
Kevin Abourezk: Native voters flex power at the polls (11/4)
Kevin Abourezk: Means shifts sovereignty stance (10/30)