Health | Law

IHS leader vows to follow Supreme Court decision on contracts





The Indian Health Service will abide by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Salazar v. Ramah Navajo Chapter, Director Yvette Roubideaux said on Wednesday.

Federal agencies must fully fund self-determination contracts with tribes, the court ruled in June. That means the amount needed to run the program, plus any contract support costs.

"We do intend to follow the holding of the supreme Court decision when processing tribal claims for additional contract support costs," Roubideaux said at the National Congress of American Indians 69th annual conference in Sacramento, California.

The IHS wasn't a party to Ramah. But a 2004 Supreme Court decision, Cherokee Nation v. Leavitt, already addressed the agency's duty to fund contract support costs.

A third case, Arctic Slope Native Association v. Sebelius, also covers the IHS.

Roubideaux sent a letter to tribes to update them on contract support costs issues.

Supreme Court Decision:
Salazar v. Ramah Navajo Chapter (June 18, 2012)

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