Kevin Abourezk: Congress poised to act on IHCIA
"For perhaps the first time in 16 years, Congress is poised to reauthorize the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, the primary legislation that provides health care to Native people. Congress has debated reauthorization proposals for the last five years, but year after year has left the bill languishing like an Indian patient in an Indian Health Service waiting room.

Last year, the Senate passed the IHCIA, but it later died in the U.S. House of Representatives after Republicans took aim at provisions in the bill that provided funding for abortions.

With a strong Democratic majority in both houses of Congress and a Democratic president in office, many consider passage of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act imminent this year.

The effort to get the bill passed began last week when Native health advocates spoke before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee about the need for reauthorization of the act. Those advocates expect Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-Mont.) to introduce the bill by the end of March."

Get the Story:
Kevin Abourezk: Native Mom's Story Shows Need for Health Reform (RezNet News 2/11)

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