OMB Urges Passage of Appropriations Bills as a Priority for Indian Health

On November 12, 2021, The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a fact sheet urging Congress to pass their appropriations bills for 2022. The fact sheet includes 17 top priorities around pandemic response and other public health initiatives, national security and American leadership, education, and core citizen services. Of the 17, inclusion of Indian Health Service (IHS) funding and addressing American Indians and Alaska Natives health disparities was in the top 3 priorities:

 

  • Address health disparities among American Indians and Alaska Natives. The President’s Budget and the House and Senate appropriations bills provide funding for thousands more inpatient admissions and millions more outpatient visits at Indian Health Service (IHS) facilities, compared to continuing 2021 funding levels, and would allow IHS to fill hundreds of open medical and other staff positions.

 

Appropriation Bills Status

 

The House fiscal year (FY) 2022 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies bill (H.R. 4372), which includes $200.5 million for urban Indian health and $8.1 billion for IHS, was part of a seven-bill package the House passed on July 29.

 

The Senate Appropriations Committee released its FY 2022 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies bill, which includes $92.7 million for urban Indian health, $7.61 billion for IHS, an additional $6.58 billion in advance appropriations to IHS for FY23, and a facilities fix to allow urban Indian organizations to use existing IHS funding for facilities improvement and renovations. However, the Senate has yet to pass their appropriations bill.

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