The National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH) CEO, Francys Crevier (Algonquin), submitted public witness written testimony to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies regarding Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 funding for Urban Indian Organizations (UIOs) in response to the Subcommittee Hearing, “A Review of the Fiscal Year 2023 President’s Budget for the Indian Health Service,” held on May 11, 2022. NCUIH advocated in its testimony for additional resources for the Indian Health Service and urban Indian Health.
In the testimony, NCUIH requested the following:
- $49.8 billion for the Indian Health Service (IHS) and $949.9 million for Urban Indian Health for FY23 (as requested by the Tribal Budget Formulation Workgroup)
- Advance appropriations for IHS until mandatory funding is enacted
These requests are essential to ensure that urban Indians are properly cared for and move us closer to fulfilling the federal government’s trust responsibility to American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs).
On March 28, 2022, President Biden released his discretionary budget request for FY23. This request includes $127.3 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), $9.1 billion in mandatory funding for IHS— an increase of $2.5 billion above the 2022 enacted level, and $112.5 million for Urban Indian Health— an increase of $39.1 billion above the 2022 enacted level.
NCUIH previously submitted testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior regarding UIO funding for FY23 and reiterated that “The federal government owes a trust responsibility to tribes and AI/ANs that is not restricted to the borders of reservations. Funding for Indian health must be significantly increased if the federal government is, to finally, and faithfully, fulfill its trust responsibility.”
On May 27, 2022, 12 Senators echoed these requests in a letter to Chairman Jeff Merkley and Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski of the Senate Interior Appropriations Committee. The letter emphasizes that increasing funding “is essential to providing quality, culturally-competent health care to AI/AN people living in urban areas.” Earlier, on April 26, 2022, 28 Representatives sent a letter to the House Interior Appropriations Committee with similar requests.
The testimony will be read and considered by the Subcommittee as the appropriations process goes forward for Fiscal Year 2023. The Senate markup schedule is yet to be released.
The House Interior Subcommittee markup for its FY 2023 appropriations bill will be held on June 21, 2022, and the Full Committee markup will be held on June 29, 2022. Further details on the timing and location of each markup are to be determined.