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New Standard: U.S. failing to deliver health care

" Despite the federal government�s own admission that the health of American Indians is below US averages, lawmakers may once again fail to reauthorize one of the principal mechanisms for funding Native healthcare programs.

When the federal government brokered treaties with American Indian tribes during the 19th Century, it promised to provide health care and medical services in exchange for millions of acres of land.

But today, Native Americans � one of the most marginalized demographic groups in the US � continue to experience higher rates of chronic diseases, mortality, suicide and alcoholism. According to public-health advocates, a deficient healthcare infrastructure and lack of qualified providers largely contributes to tribes� inability to provide their communities with the level of care they need.

The Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA) was originally passed in 1976 to enhance the Snyder Act of 1921, another bill providing legislative authority to fund Native American health programs. But the IHCIA expired in 2000, and thirteen years after the last reauthorization, Congress has yet to renew it."

Get the Story:
Catherine Komp: Congress, President Still Ignoring Obligation to Indian Health Care (The New Standard 7/12)

Health Care Bill:
Indian Health Care Improvement Act Amendments (S.1057)

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