PRESS RELEASE: NCUIH Urges Senate Appropriations Committee to Match House Funding Request of $81 Million for Urban Indian Health
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Contact: Meredith Raimondi
NCUIH Urges Senate Appropriations Committee to Match House Funding Request of $81 Million for Urban Indian Health
NCUIH sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee to request the same funding level as included in Chairwoman McCollum’s House bill for urban Indian health.
Washington, DC (June 10, 2019) — Today, the National Council of Urban Indian Health sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee requesting to match the funding for the urban Indian health line item in the House Appropriations bill that recently passed out of the full Appropriations Committee. Last month, the Senate held their first hearing on the Interior budget with Secretary Bernhardt.
“After years of stagnation and chronic underfunding to the urban Indian health budget, NCUIH would like to see the Senate follow the House by also including $81 million for the urban Indian health item. NCUIH urges the Senate to follow the House bill’s example which incorporates a solution of addressing the unmet needs of urban Indians by increasing the overall IHS budget without taking away from the other line items,” said NCUIH Executive Director Francys Crevier.
Urban Indian Organizations (UIOs) are the only part of the Indian health System (IHS/Tribal facilities/UIOs) that only receive funding from one source within the IHS budget – the urban Indian line item. The 41 UIOs in 22 states are an integral part of the Indian health system. Currently, UIOs receive less than 1% of the IHS budget creating serious budget constraints while still providing culturally-competent and quality healthcare.
The House Interior Appropriations Bill authored by Chairwoman Betty McCollum includes $81 million for the urban Indian health line item, which is an approximately $30 million increase from current levels. The House Bill will next move to the floor for a vote.
As the Senate continues to develop their Interior Appropriations bill, NCUIH requests that they include the $81 million for urban Indian health. This needed increase would allow UIOs to hire more staff, expand vital services from behavioral health to substance misuse programs, and improve health outcomes for the growing demand for health care for urban Indians.