Home > News > More Headlines > Indian health bills criticized by Bush official
Printer friendly version
Indian health bills criticized by Bush official
THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 2003

The Bush administration voiced opposition on Wednesday to a series of Indian health proposals that enjoy bipartisan support and have broad tribal backing.

Dr. William Raub, an assistant secretary within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), raised numerous objections to bills that advocates say will improve the delivery of health care to American Indians and Alaska Natives. The laundry list of complaints prompted some grumbling from Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.), chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

"What I want you do is not tell the committee so much about what's wrong with it," he said, "I want you tell us how to fix it."

Two of the bills debated yesterday have languished in Congress for several years because the Clinton administration also opposed them. Some of those concerns have survived the change in power at HHS.

One bill would make it easier for tribes to tap into existing alcohol and substance abuse programs. Citing "austere" budgets for the coming years, Dr. Charles Grim, the interim Indian Health Service (IHS) director, has urged tribes to do just that.

Raub said the Bush administration "supports the principle that Indian tribes know best how to meet the needs of their members." But he said the bill wasn't clear enough and lacks effective federal oversight. The department also opposes having the IHS designated as the lead agency for the consolidation of the mental health programs, Raub told the committee.

The second bill would elevate the Indian Health Service (IHS) director to an assistant secretary. Raub and Michel Lincoln, the deputy IHS director, said the change was unnecessary because Dr. Grim enjoys great "access" to Secretary Tommy Thompson.

The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) have long backed elevation. Julia Davis-Wheeler, NIHB and secretary of the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho, recalled a White House meeting where tribal leaders felt somewhat embarrassed because a former IHS director was forced to sit on the sidelines due to his status.

"It would be great to have Secretary Thompson leave a legacy . . . to honor that administrative Cabinet position," she said. "He could really do something for us if he supports that."

Grim, who has been officially nominated as director of the IHS, has drawn support from tribal leaders. His nomination will be considered by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

The third bill, the Native American Health and Wellness Foundation Act, escaped Bush criticism because Raub said the administration is still reviewing it. The bill would create a foundation whose focus will be to promote health and wellness issues in Indian Country.

Relevant Documents:
Written Witness Testimony (April 9, 2003)

Bill Text:
Native American Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program Consolidation Act of 2003 (S.285) | A bill to elevate the position Director of the Indian Health Service (S.558) | Native American Health and Wellness Foundation Act of 2003 (S.555)

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

Related Stories:
Senate committee holds Indian health hearing (4/9)
Opposition mounts to Bush IHS initiatives (4/3)
GOP rejects IHS funding measure (3/26)
Budget measure would double IHS funds (3/25)
Bush scoring tool impacts Indian programs (03/07)
Omnibus spending bill gains Bush approval (02/21)
Bush initiative to be scrutinized by Congress (02/18)
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)
Senate approves $390B spending bill (1/24)
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

President of Alaska Native village highlights threat to community (9/3)
President Barack Obama offers thoughts on historic trip to Alaska (9/3)
President Obama enjoys unique welcome in Alaska Native village (9/3)
Transcript: President Obama speaks in Native village of Kotzebue (9/3)
Democrats slam GOP candidate for comments about assimilation (9/3)
Poarch Creeks secure major ruling in gaming dispute in Alabama (9/3)
Native Sun News: City faces possible suit from Lakota 57 parents (9/3)
Lakota Country Times: Sinte Gleska University to expand campus (9/3)
Tim Giago: Republicans show hypocrisy on the 14th Amendment (9/3)
Ivan Star: 'English education' obliterated culture and language (9/3)
Gyasi Ross: Obama's checkered record on Native environment (9/3)
Opinion: Indian Child Welfare Act doesn't help Indian children (9/3)
Appeal planned in Grand Ronde Tribes disenrollment dispute (9/3)
Blackfeet Nation states opposition to drilling on sacred land (9/3)
Father of Native woman who died in jail cell considers lawsuit (9/3)
Oglala Sioux Tribe set to open $16.5M nursing home next year (9/3)
Donald Trump's campaign manager linked to Abramoff scandal (9/3)
Navajo Nation plans big development next to casino in Arizona (9/3)
Graton Rancheria breaks ground on $175M expansion at casino (9/3)
United Auburn Indian Community compact gains quick approval (9/3)
New Mexico tribes weren't involved in off-reservation casino bid (9/3)
Parents of Lakota 57 respond to not guilty verdict in Rapid City (9/2)
Grand Ronde Tribes to disenroll 86 descendants of treaty signer (9/2)
Lakota Country Times: New food bank on Pine Ridge Reservation (9/2)
Mark Trahant: FCC invents new law for tribal lands in Oklahoma (9/2)
Native Sun News Editorial: Republican attacks on Hillary Clinton (9/2)
Vi Waln: Rosebud Sioux Tribe needs to establish 'virtual' school (9/2)
Steven Newcomb: The religious basis of Doctrine of Discovery (9/2)
Frank Bibeau: Ojibwe people assert treaty rights in Minnesota (9/2)
Carly McIntosh: Feeling love from elders at naming ceremony (9/2)
Winnebago Tribe reports results of primary election for council (9/2)
President Obama set for visit to Native communities in Alaska (9/2)
Alaska Native students being left behind in their own backyard (9/2)
Opinion: Alaska will lose appeal in BIA land-into-trust lawsuit (9/2)
Native children being removed at alarming rates in Manitoba (9/2)
Crow Tribe opens apartment complex for homeless veterans (9/2)
Mississippi Choctaw leader faces challenge in election drama (9/2)
Mohegan Tribe elects incumbents and newcomer for council (9/2)
Donald Trump wanted a casino with Seminole Tribe in Florida (9/2)
New Mexico tribes proposed casino in downtown Albuquerque (9/2)
Construction worker dies at site of Jamul Indian Village casino (9/2)
Lakota Country Times: Not guilty verdict after Lakota 57 trial (9/1)
President Obama meets Native leaders after landing in Alaska (9/1)
Rhonda Pitka: Alaska Natives put priority on subsistence rights (9/1)
more headlines...

Advertisement

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.