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:
Appeals court hears slew of Indian cases amid focus on nominee (3/23)
Internal tribal disputes continue to trip up federal court system (3/23)
Mark Trahant: Indian health care gains ignored in political debate (3/23)
Native Sun News Today: Young fighters maintain Lakota tradition (3/23)
Ivan Star Comes Out: America loses its self-respect and humanity (3/23)
Rosalyn LaPier: Why water remains sacred to indigenous peoples (3/23)
Winona LaDuke: North Dakota spreads filth about water protectors (3/23)
Harold Monteau: Tribal governments are abusing their own people (3/23)
Alex Jacobs: Donald Trump in middle of the 'deep state civil war' (3/23)
Secretary Zinke announces 'doggy days' for Interior Department (3/23)
Keystone XL Pipeline route crosses Ponca Tribe's forced removal (3/23)
Indian lawmaker resigns after being charged for child prostitution (3/23)
Pinoleville Pomo Nation buys site of long-delayed casino project (3/23)
High court pick acknowledges poor treatment of 'sovereign' tribes (3/22)
Dakota Access submits another status update entirely under seal (3/22)
Court allows claim for alleged underpayment in Cobell settlement (3/22)
South Dakota tribes continue to extend Class III gaming compacts (3/22)
Cowlitz Tribe secures approval to offer liquor as casino debut nears (3/22)
Native Sun News Today: Community project continues at Pine Ridge (3/22)
Cronkite News: Copper mine on sacred site complains about delays (3/22)
Mary Annette Pember: Awareness for missing and murdered sisters (3/22)
Stacy Pratt: Visiting the gravesite of Andrew Jackson in Tennessee (3/22)
Murder charge filed for fatal shooting of Navajo Nation police officer (3/22)
Muckleshoot Tribe still seeking answers for fatal shooting by officer (3/22)
Hopland Band submits claim for county raid of marijuana operation (3/22)
Chukchansi Tribe sued for $21M by gaming development company (3/22)
Seminole Tribe accused of breaking contract with outlet at casino (3/22)
Indian Child Welfare Act survives attack from conservative groups (3/21)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs schedules hearing on diabetes (3/21)
Ponca Tribe hosts 282-mile walk to retrace trail of forced removal (3/21)
National Indian Gaming Association honors Native casting director (3/21)
Native Sun News Today: Whiteclay liquor sales up for review again (3/21)
James Giago Davies: It's time to take a trip to the Great Upstairs (3/21)
Smith and Wakefield: Obamacare repeal is bad for Indian Country (3/21)
Steve Russell: Domestic status of Indian nations invented in 1831 (3/21)
Steven Newcomb: Pope Francis must address domination legacy (3/21)
Tulalip Tribes install 1st leadership board with women in majority (3/21)
Osage Nation passes referendum to legalize same-sex marriage (3/21)
Mishewal Wappo Tribe returns to court to seek federal recognition (3/21)
Lawmakers pushing for federal recognition of six tribes in Virginia (3/21)
Cowlitz Tribe casino seen as impacting lottery revenues in Oregon (3/21)
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.