indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Health Coverage for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
First Lady Michelle Obama shares story of hope with Indian school (5/26)
Remarks by First Lady Michelle Obama at Santa Fe Indian School (5/26)
Gary Davis of NCAIED joins Small Business Administration council (5/26)
Arne Vainio: A mother's gift carried me through many life journeys (5/26)
Native Sun News: Tribes score big in fights against energy projects (5/26)
Lakota Country Times: Education Secretary hears from Pine Ridge (5/26)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Ending Whiteclay beer sales starts at home (5/26)
Vi Waln: Rosebud Sioux youth lead efforts to bring relatives home (5/26)
Gyasi Ross: Drug epidemic sweeping through Native communities (5/26)
Jacqueline Keeler: Shameful and skewed poll on racist NFL name (5/26)
Interview with Melvin Monette about Cobell scholarship program (5/26)
Auction house in France won't stop sale of sacred tribal property (5/26)
United Keetoowah Band installs new leader after impeachment (5/26)
Kewa Pueblo builds new community around historic trading post (5/26)
Eastern Cherokee elder translates 'Charlotte's Web' into Tsalagi (5/26)
Puyallup Tribe works to keep language alive for new generations (5/26)
Iowa Tribe offers free play on poker website ahead of full launch (5/26)
Alabama-Coushatta Tribe offers gaming options closer to home (5/26)
Kaw Nation receives national award for tribal gaming initiatives (5/26)
Indian Health Service reform efforts gaining steam on Capitol Hill (5/25)
Indian Health Service announces more hires at troubled hospital (5/25)
Keepseagle attorneys open application process for $38M in grants (5/25)
Three tribes enter cooperative agreements for buy-back program (5/25)
New leader selected for HUD's Office of Native American Programs (5/25)
Indian relay racers gear up for event hosted by Muckleshoot Tribe (5/25)
Cronkite News: Tribes seek return of property up for sale in France (5/25)
Native Sun News: Anti-suicide effort incorporates tribal traditions (5/25)
Lakota Country Times: Pine Ridge youth showcase film projects (5/25)
Mark Trahant: Native vote victory for Tawna Sanchez in Oregon (5/25)
Brandon Ecoffey: Lakota people come together in times of need (5/25)
Editorial: Tribes must come up with plan for return of Black Hills (5/25)
John McCoy: Disenrollment and blood quantum are not our way (5/25)
Adrian Jawort: Addressing race relations and healing in Montana (5/25)
Fort Peck Tribes oppose new directive on transgender students (5/25)
Leader of United Keetoowah Band ousted through impeachment (5/25)
Agua Caliente Band launches software development company (5/25)
Sen. Barrasso to chair platform committee for GOP convention (5/25)
Cowlitz Tribe welcomes discussions with opponent over casino (5/25)
Little Traverse Bay Bands open doors to Class II gaming facility (5/25)
Tuolumne Band celebrates 15th birthday with casino expansion (5/25)
Former Winnebago Tribe casino employee denies theft charge (5/25)
Proposed rule brings LGBT equality to tribal housing programs (5/24)
Chairman of Quapaw Tribe endorses Democrat Hillary Clinton (5/24)
Appropriations bill blocks new federal recognition regulation (5/24)
Native American Children's Safety Act clears final Hill hurdle (5/24)
9th Circuit won't rehear Tohono O'odham Nation gaming case (5/24)
Lakota Country Times: Army promises return of tribal children (5/24)
Native Sun News: New business sprouts up at Wounded Knee (5/24)
Mark Trahant: Tulalip citizen lands role in Democratic platform (5/24)
Brandon Ecoffey: Pine Ridge unites for search of missing men (5/24)
Men who went missing found dead on Pine Ridge Reservation (5/24)
Billy Mills: Flawed poll can't justify use of team's racist mascot (5/24)
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.