Home > News > More Headlines > Bush initiative to be scrutinized by Congress
Printer friendly version
Bush initiative to be scrutinized by Congress

Congressional appropriators plan to review a Bush administration proposal to eliminate dozens of Indian Health Service (IHS) jobs and relocate more than 200 employees.

The omnibus appropriations act approved last week includes language that requires Congressional approval before the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) implements several management initiatives. The provision was carried over from the Senate's version of the massive funding bill.

The bill doesn't restrict money for IHS, which is at a record $2.9 billion. But it impacts whether or not future spending will be affected by what is known as the "One-HHS" proposal.

First outlined in the 2003 budget, the initiative targets four areas for consolidation: public and legislative affairs; information technology; facilities construction; and human resources (HR), which includes the Equal Opportunity Office. Some are slated to take place this year while the two that most impact Indian Country -- facilities and HR -- are scheduled for fiscal year 2004.

Dr. Charles Grim, the interim IHS director, said the effort will result in the elimination of about 36 human resource positions at the agency. The goal is to have one HR employee for every 82 employees.

"We have one of the better looking ratios in the department," he said in an interview. With about 15,000 employees, IHS is the second largest division at HHS.

No final decisions have been made regarding the affected employees, whom Grim said will be offered other jobs at the department. The 218 employees whose positions won't be cut are to be transferred to one office in suburban Washington, D.C., removing them from locations closest to the people they serve in Indian Country.

Indian health and tribal leaders have expressed concerns about the consolidation. Funding for new IHS clinics and hospitals, which has been reduced in the past two years, will come from the same pot as other HHS projects, leading to fears that Indian Country will not be a priority. They also say the IHS can't afford to lose any employees.

"Sixty percent [of operations] have already been downsized," said one. "To move it to the department doesn't bode well."

THe IHS is headquartered in Rockville, Maryland. But Grim said the HR staff will probably be relocated in Baltimore. Currently, the employees work in the field.

About 1.6 million American Indians and Alaska Natives are eligible for IHS services, according to agency figures.

Relevant Links:
Indian Health Service - http://www.ihs.gov
Department of Health and Human Services - http://www.hhs.gov

Related Stories:
Grim expects nomination as head of IHS (2/11)
IHS positions being eliminated (2/7)
'Austere' health care budget cited (2/5)
Thompson releases new IHS budget (2/4)
Indian Country receives diabetes grants (12/11)
Court rebuffs tribes on contract funding dispute (11/27)
Congress approves $750M for Indian diabetes (11/21)
Northern Plains tribes see high infant death rate (10/30)
Navajo Nation challenges contract policy (10/04)
Reports address long-term elder care (08/20)
Bush appoints interim director of IHS (08/05)
Bush delaying pick for IHS post (7/23)
Report stresses importance of health insurance (5/22)
Poor Indian health blamed on federal failures (3/21)
IHS pressed to include tribes in reform efforts (02/28)
IHS budget cuts construction funds (2/12)

Copyright © Indianz.Com

Stay Connected

On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud

More Headlines

Tribes seek support for Native language instruction programs (11/24)
Rep. Mullin confirms divisions in Indian Country on Carcieri fix (11/24)
President Obama to award Medal of Freedom to Billy Frank Jr. (11/24)
Sault Tribe pushes for passage of Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act (11/24)
Lakota Country Times: Charles Trimble recognized for writings (11/24)
Native Sun News Editorial: Some new names in Indian Country (11/24)
Jim Kent: South Dakota lands in the news again for corruption (11/24)
John Yellowbird Steele: Bill tries to hijack recognition process (11/24)
Albert Bender: 'The Green Inferno' hits new low in racist films (11/24)
Peter d'Errico: Anti-Indian wars continue in our Supreme Court (11/24)
Anne Keala Kelly: US government wants to steal Hawaii again (11/24)
Counties ask Supreme Court to hear Ute Tribe boundary case (11/24)
Shinnecock Nation considers entering medical marijuana field (11/24)
USDA policy eases return of traditional food to tribal facilities (11/24)
Sitka Tribe asks FBI to consider racial bias in student's arrest (11/24)
Court sides with Indian inmates over closure of sweat lodge (11/24)
Former employee accused of cheating Grand Traverse Band (11/24)
Tribes with special acts of Congress face hurdles for gaming (11/24)
Enterprise Rancheria addresses concerns about gaming site (11/24)
Mohegan Tribe signs partner for $5B casino proposal in Korea (11/24)
Bart Hinkle: States trying to protect their gaming monopolies (11/24)
Blackfeet Nation wins ruling against development at sacred site (11/23)
Center for Native American Youth hires new executive director (11/23)
Quinault Nation slams approval of genetically modified salmon (11/23)
Native Sun News: Great Plains people key in defeating Keystone (11/23)
Lakota Country Times: Legal 'victory' for reservation residents (11/23)
Chuck Trimble: Book shares truth about genocide of our people (11/23)
Mark Trahant: Who will be a Barack Obama for Indian Country? (11/23)
James Giago Davies: The greatest evil facing our communities (11/23)
Jay Daniels: Mascot opponents take aim at beloved 'Sooners' (11/23)
John Yellowbird Steele: Restore tribal sovereignty over labor (11/23)
Steve Russell: Just ask Indian people about wars over religion (11/23)
Donna Loring: Native youth are changing lives with their music (11/23)
Adrianne Chalepah: Voices of Native women need to be heard (11/23)
Mark Anthony Rolo: Bad River Band puts major focus on health (11/23)
Marc Simmons: Site of Apache chief Victorio's death in dispute (11/23)
Oglala Sioux Tribe loses grant for suicide prevention program (11/23)
Native actors speak Abenaki language in 'Saints & Strangers' (11/23)
Rep. Markwayne Mullin backing Sen. Marco Rubio for president (11/23)
Opinion: Native people seek a mutual partnership with Canada (11/23)
Opinion: Native Hawaiian group does not represent the people (11/23)
Paula Terwilliger: Non-Indian casino undermines tribal success (11/23)
David Collins: Shame on Eric Holder for opposing tribal casino (11/23)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe to appeal decision in casino case (11/23)
Editorial: Reject Spokane Tribe off-reservation casino project (11/23)
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.