indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Consultation session focuses on IHS budget
Thursday, April 29, 2004

Tribal leaders are meeting in the Washington, D.C., area this week to discuss their concerns and priorities for the Indian Health Service (IHS) budget.

Representatives of all 12 areas of the IHS are using the session to get a better handle on the way the agency's budget is formulated. On Wednesday, they heard from top officials at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) within the White House.

Government officials described the talks, which have been held for several years, as productive. They said they have tried to incorporate suggestions made by tribal leaders into the budget.

"I find the consultation very helpful in that regard," said Kerry Weems, the acting assistant secretary for budget, technology and finance at HHS.

But tribal leaders expressed frustration that their needs aren't being addressed despite an abundance of evidence showing that American Indians and Alaska Natives experience the worst health conditions in the nation. They repeatedly cited an apparent "disconnect" between HHS and OMB, where the budget request originates.

"Every year we come here, IHS says 4 percent [increase]. Last year we got 1 percent," said Don Kashevaroff, president of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. "Somewhere between the 4 and the 1, the president didn't request it."

Tribes also were concerned that the rising costs of health care aren't included in the budget. In fiscal year 2005, the IHS is growing by just 1.6 percent in the face of double-digit increases in health service expenditures.

"We're going backwards," observed one tribal leader.

"We're aware that inflation occurs," Charles Montgomery, the OMB examiner who handles the public health budget, later said. "The honest answer is we don't always meet it. We have finite resources." Montgomery also described the budget as "austere."

But Dr. Charles Grim, the director of the IHS, said his agency has fared well in an era of restrained spending. He tied increases in recent years to the ratings IHS programs have received under the Performance and Results Act (GPRA) and under the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART), a new initiative that President Bush brought to OMB.

"We have actually made some strong showings," Grim told tribal leaders. "We have had some of the best scores."

At the same time, Weems and Montgomery sought to downplay the effect a PART score has on funding. "It's another point in our decision making," said Weems. "It's not the only thing that helps determine the federal budget."

Tribal leaders are worried that the GPRA and PART systems are being handled inconsistently. They say negative scores are used to justify cuts in the budget while positive scores don't lead to increases.

"Even with the limited resources we receive, we are doing a substantially good job," Rachel Joseph, chair of the Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Tribe of California, said.

The session concludes today as tribal leaders finalize their priorities and recommendations for the IHS budget. They will also prepare for another round of talks with HHS officials. On May 12-13, the department will host its sixth annual budget consultation in Washington, D.C.

Budget Documents:
HHS Budget in Brief | HHS Performance Plan | Secretary Thompson's Remarks

Relevant Links:
National Indian Health Board - http://www.nihb.org
Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board - http://www.npaihb.org
Indian Health Service - http://www.ihs.gov
Department of Health and Human Services - http://www.hhs.gov

Related Stories:
Tribes ask Congress to address contract shortfalls (04/28)
IHS funding a campaign issue for S.D. politicians (04/02)
Budget resolution barely clears House vote (03/26)
Proposed boost in IHS budget rejected by Senate (03/12)
Senate panel shares criticism of Bush budget (02/12)
Tribal leaders pressing Congress on funding (02/11)
Bush seeks $3 billion for Indian Health Service (02/03)
Daschle criticizes Bush on Indian health funds (02/03)
Daschle asks Bush to increase funding for IHS (12/18)
Democrats lay out plan for minority and Indian health (10/22)
Daschle: Improve Health Care in Indian Country (10/15)
Senate votes down health and trust measures (09/24)
Senate rejects one IHS funding measure, passes another (03/26)
Tribes told to explore health funding options (02/05)
Thompson releases new IHS budget (2/4)
Indian Country receives diabetes grants (12/11)
Congress approves $750M for Indian diabetes (11/21)

Copyright 2000-2004 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
President Obama invites Native youth to White House on July 9 (4/27)
Native Sun News: Author brings Lakota heritage to stewardship (4/27)
Lakota Country Times: Cobell scholarship fund being put to use (4/27)
Gabe Galanda: Even Hollywood is taking on tribal disenrollment (4/27)
Steve Russell: Same-sex marriage back before Supreme Court (4/27)
Terese Mailhot: The epidemic of early death on the reservation (4/27)
Jean-Luc Pierite: School makes bad choice with fake headdress (4/27)
Peter d'Errico: Pope fails to address genocide of Native peoples (4/27)
Choctaw Nation citizens slam Vanilla Ice's shaky ancestry claim (4/27)
Youth of Hoopa Valley Tribe speak out against marijuana grows (4/27)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe might be interested in growing hemp (4/27)
Sparring continues in Wind River Reservation jurisdictional feud (4/27)
Oneida Nation faces questions over land-into-trust acquisitions (4/27)
Opinion: Deadline approaches in Alaska land-into-trust dispute (4/27)
Editorial: States need help dealing with newly recognized tribes (4/27)
Last defendant to be sentenced for Choctaw Nation casino fraud (4/27)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee sets hearing on labor measure (4/27)
Senate panel takes up bill to halt Tohono O'odham Nation casino (4/27)
Tiny Alturas Rancheria runs casino but can't agree on much else (4/27)
Dennis Whittlesey: Texas tribes are pawns in much larger game (4/27)
White House to host first-ever Native youth conference on July 9 (4/24)
Native Sun News: Northern Cheyenne Tribe fires casino manager (4/24)
Lakota Country Times: Timothy Standing Soldier passes on at 54 (4/24)
Mark Trahant: Invest in our Native youth for long-term success (4/24)
James Giago Davies: True believerism and comic book solutions (4/24)
Brandon Ecoffey: Oglala Sioux Tribe must act on legal marijuana (4/24)
Ed Rice: Cleveland team comes up with excuse for racist mascot (4/24)
White House Blog: Recognizing tribal Climate Action Champions (4/24)
House subcommittee looks at poor conditions at Indian schools (4/24)
Navajo actress was put in darker makeup for Adam Sandler film (4/24)
Eastern Cherokee group plans lawsuit over tribal council raises (4/24)
Column: Commission takes on truth and reconciliation in Maine (4/24)
Senate votes to confirm Loretta Lynch as next attorney general (4/24)
ICT interview with confirmed NIGC Chairman Jonodev Chaudhuri (4/24)
Dave Palermo: Tribes in California assert right to Internet poker (4/24)
Pokagon Band casino remains a concern for Indiana lawmakers (4/24)
Pojoaque Pueblo places casino manager on administrative leave (4/24)
White Earth Nation promotes tribal members in casino positions (4/24)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux student vies for Miss Indian World (4/23)
Lakota Country Times: Tribal citizens named to education board (4/23)
Ivan Star: Struggling with the warrior heritage in Indian Country (4/23)
Dana Lone Elk: Lakota people still carry on fight of Crazy Horse (4/23)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee passes bill to renew NAHASDA (4/23)
BIA faces fire over latest reforms to federal recognition process (4/23)
Opinion: First Lady brings truth with remarks about Native youth (4/23)
Incoming leader of Navajo Nation stresses importance of youth (4/23)
Native actors storm off set of Adam Sandler film in New Mexico (4/23)
Marijuana seen as new frontier in tribal economic development (4/23)
Senate approves anti-trafficking measure with tribal provisions (4/23)
Interview with Gyasi Ross about spoken word release Isskootsik (4/23)
Blackfeet Nation launches campaign to ban drilling at sacred site (4/23)
Cherokee Nation celebrates births of first calves from bison herd (4/23)
Burns Paiute Tribe investigates fire that destroyed two bulidings (4/23)
Kaibab Paiute Tribe welcomes designation as 1st dark sky nation (4/23)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.