IHCIA delayed but could come up next week
The long-delayed Indian Health Care Improvement Act could finally come up for a Senate vote next week, National Congress of American Indians executive director Jackie Johnson said on Thursday.

S.1200 was placed on the Senate's legislative calendar after being reported out by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. Supporters of hoped the bill would be finally see floor debate this week but that didn't happen.

"It's been over seven years that we've been trying to get this bill passed," Johnson said at the Alaska Federation of Natives conference in Fairbanks. "We're the closest we ever have been."

According to Indian Country Today, a disagreement over cost kept the bill from seeing a vote this week. And Republicans plan to offer an amendment to strip the urban Indian health care provisions from the package.

"I'm hoping and expecting that next week, we'll get it to the floor," said Johnson. "We need this to happen before we get into all of the debates on the budget and there's no time for the Indian Health Care Improvement Act."

The act expired in 2000. Opposition from the Bush administration and Republicans have kept the law from being renewed.

Get the Story:
Health, 8(a) and Hawaiian bills are headed for a vote (Indian Country Today 10/26)

Indian Health Care Improvement Act Amendments:
S.1200 | H.R.1328

Relevant Documents:
Letter to President Bush | Letter to Alberto Gonzales | DOJ White Paper

Relevant Links:
Indian Health Service - http://www.ihs.gov
National Indian Health Board - http://www.nihb.org

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