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
Native American Bank - Native people investing in Native communities
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:
Obama administration asks tribes about infrastructure projects (9/23)
House passes measure to combat illegal sale of tribal property (9/23)
Mike Rounds: Righting historical wrongs against Native citizens (9/23)
Indian Health Service names new medical officer in Great Plains (9/23)
Interior Department finalizes rule for Native Hawaiian relations (9/23)
Native Sun News Today: Democrat accepts invitation to debate (9/23)
Jeffrey Whalen: A failed experiment in socialism at Pine Ridge (9/23)
Mary Annette Pember: A young boy's journey to Standing Rock (9/23)
Harlan McKosato: Obama must keep promise to Indian people (9/23)
Dean Suagee: Native input needed to guide future of our parks (9/23)
Another North Dakota tribe battles pipeline company in court (9/23)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe extends Class III gaming compact again (9/23)
Top gaming executive on Navajo Nation put on leave with pay (9/23)
Bill slammed as 'modern day Indian land grab' moves forward (9/22)
Republican lawmaker eagerly defends Dakota Access Pipeline (9/22)
Appeals court in DC sets stage for October 5 #NoDAPL hearing (9/22)
Bureau of Indian Affairs role in #NoDAPL 'task force' in doubt (9/22)
Miami language champion Daryl Baldwin earns 'genius grant' (9/22)
Landowners from Lower Brule Sioux Tribe see $11M in offers (9/22)
Mark Trahant: Politicians can no longer ignore the Native vote (9/22)
Native Sun News Today: Nation rallies to #NoDAPL movement (9/22)
Dave Archambault Sr.: History unfolds on Standing Rock land (9/22)
David Ganje: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe takes stand for water (9/22)
Democracy Now: Sacred Stone Camp founder standing ground (9/22)
Cronkite News: Navajo Nation pushes for cleanup of mine site (9/22)
Harold Monteau: #NoDAPL movement draws a line in the sand (9/22)
Judge restores affidavit option for North Dakota Native voters (9/22)
Editorial: Long overdue federal recognition for Virginia tribes (9/22)
Tohono O'odham Nation seeks sanctions in fight over casino (9/22)
California governor keeps busy with tribal gaming compacts (9/22)
County sheriff leads investigation into #NoDAPL confrontation (9/21)
Federal appeals court sets October 5 hearing in #NoDAPL case (9/21)
Tribes deliver Wisconsin firewood to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (9/21)
Democrats host forum on Dakota Access Pipeline on Capitol Hill (9/21)
Uncertainty on land-into-trust as Obama era comes to a close (9/21)
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.