House Releases Indian Health Draft COVID-19 Bills

The bill draft includes $84 million for urban Indian health and 2 years of 100% FMAP for UIOs.

On February 9, the House Energy and Commerce Committee released their draft bill text for the budget reconciliation package on COVID-19 relief. The markup of these drafts will happen by the Full Committee on February 11. The drafts include $6.1 billion for Indian health programs with $84 million for urban Indian health and two years of 100% FMAP to Urban Indian Organizations (UIOs) for Medicaid services for IHS-beneficiaries.

100% FMAP for UIOs has been a long-standing priority for NCUIH. In recent weeks, NCUIH has worked closely with key Congressional leaders to push for the inclusion of 100% FMAP for UIOs. Last week, three Senators spoke on the Senate floor about prioritizing Indian health and ensuring that UIOs would be eligible for full FMAP. Rep. Ruiz also led a letter signed by over 2 dozen House Representatives to request full FMAP for UIOs in the budget reconciliation package.

The Indian health provisions reflect many recommendations in the tribal inter-organization letter sent on February 2. These investments for Indian health will be critical for shoring up necessary resources to combat COVID-19 as January “was the deadliest so far in the US, with 958 recorded Native deaths – a 35% increase since December, a bigger rise than for any other group”.

Next Steps

The Committee will host a markup and the House plans to vote on the full package the week of February 22. NCUIH will continue to push for long-term 100% FMAP for UIOs and urge Congressional leaders to support inclusion of the many Indian health wins in the budget reconciliation package.

Overview of Indian Health Provisions

  • $6.094 billion in funding for Indian health programs
  • $2 billion for lost revenue
  • $500 million for Purchased/Referred Care
  • $140 million for information technologies, telehealth, and electronic health records infrastructure
  • $84 million for urban Indian health programs
  • $600 million for vaccine-related activities
  • $1.5 billion for testing, tracing, and mitigating COVID-19
  • $240 million for public health workforce
  • $420 million for mental and behavioral health prevention and treatment services among Indian tribes, tribal organizations, and urban Indian organizations
  • $600 million for funding support of tribal health care facilities and infrastructure
  • $10 million for potable water delivery.

Legislation Recommendations and Memorandum

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