On October 12, 2021, Representatives Betty McCollum (D-MN-04) and Don Young (R-AK-1) introduced a pair of bipartisan bills that would amend the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA) to provide advance appropriations to the Indian Health Service (IHS).
The Indian Programs Advance Appropriations Act of 2021 (H.R. 5567), introduced by Rep. McCollum, authorizes advance appropriations authority for certain accounts of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Indian Education, and IHS. The Indian Health Service Advance Appropriations Act (H.R. 5549), introduced by Rep. Young, authorizes advance appropriations authority for IHS.
NCUIH has long advocated for advance appropriations for IHS to insulate Indian health care providers from shutdowns and allow for long-term planning. A companion Senate bill, Indian Programs Advance Appropriations Act of 2021 (S. 2985), was introduced by Senators Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) on October 7.
NCUIH welcomes the Members of Congress’ legislation to provide budget stability for IHS and strengthen the federal government’s commitment to uphold its trust and treaty responsibilities to American Indians and Alaska Natives.