NCUIH Submits Written Testimony to Senate Interior Appropriations with FY22 Budget Requests for UIOs
The National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH) CEO, Francys Crevier, submitted public witness written testimony to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies regarding Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 funding for Urban Indian Organizations (UIOs) in response to the Subcommittee Hearing, Addressing Health Disparities in Indian Country: Review of the Indian Health Service’s COVID Response and Future Needs, held on April 28.
UIOs provide culturally competent health care to some of the 70% of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) living in cities and are primarily funded by a single line item in the annual Indian health budget, which constitutes approximately 1% of the total Indian Health Service (IHS) annual budget. The devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Indian Country proved the dire need for increased funding and resources for UIOs, who have continuously provided services in the hardest hit urban areas during the entire pandemic.
In her testimony, NCUIH requested the following:
- $200.5 million for Urban Indian Health for FY22
- Include report language to allow use of facilities funding to UIOs
- Advance appropriations for IHS
- UIOs be insulated from unrelated budgetary disputes through a spend faster anomaly so that critical funding is not halted
These requests are essential to ensure that urban Indians are properly cared for and moves us closer to fulfilling the federal government’s trust responsibility to AI/ANs.
The testimony will be read and considered by the subcommittee as the appropriations process goes forward for Fiscal Year 2022. NCUIH previously submitted testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior regarding UIO funding for FY22.
On April 12, 2021 President Biden released his discretionary budget request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, pending a more detailed version in the coming months, which will include the funding recommendations for urban Indian health. This request includes $131.7 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), a 23.5% increase from the 2021 enacted level, and $8.5 billion in discretionary funding for the Indian Health Service (IHS), a $2.2 billion increase from FY21. The Biden Administration is expected to release his comprehensive budget on May 27.