Upcoming Urban Confer to Discuss ARPA and BBBA Funding for IHS Programs

On November 22, 2021 IHS sent a Dear Urban Tribal Organizational Leader letter (DULL) that outlines an additional $210 million for Public Health Workforce Activities from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The DULL also outlines the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) that includes $2.35 billion in additional resources for several Indian Health Service (IHS) programs. Currently, the BBBA is up for consideration in Congress and includes funding for several prioritized IHS programs.

ARPA and BBBA’s IHS Program Impact

Directed funding of the ARPA and BBBA are a result of the disproportionate impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. The proposed funding emphasizes the urgent need for preparatory action to handle the exacerbated inequalities across the nation.

The allocation of $210 million to IHS is a significant amount of funding that would enable the creation and enhancement of community level programs that are equity focused and results driven. The directed dollars have the capacity to boost public health responses and increase the professional volume that is dedicated to the work in IHS, Tribal, and urban Indian health programs.

Additionally, the BBBA includes $2.35 billion in additional funding for several IHS programs, including, $1 billion to address the 1993 Health Care Facilities Construction Priority List; $945 million for Maintenance and Improvements; $124 million for behavioral health services, including necessary facilities improvements; and $100 million for Urban Indian Organization construction. NCUIH supports the BBBA funding and its planned disbursement to the prioritized IHS programs.

Next Steps

NCUIH will be holding a prep call on Wednesday, December 15, 2021 from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (EST). Join NCUIH’s prep call here. During this meeting, we will review potential talking points and provide a shareable document prior to the IHS Urban Confer Session.

The virtual Urban Confer session will take place to discuss the additional funds on Wednesday, December 15, 2021 from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00p.m. (EST). Join the meeting by clicking here. Written comments are also encouraged on the two funding sources. The deadline to submit written comments is December 23, 2021.

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