Editorial: Urban Indian health clinics cut by Bush

"If our outrage toward President Bush's budget proposal were a cupcake, this would be the thick layer of fury icing: His budget proposes to eliminate all public funding for the Indian Health Service's Urban Indian Health Program, which funds 34 clinics, serving roughly 100,000 Native Americans nationwide, including Seattle. These clinics are a cost-effective way of treating a population that might all too often end up in expensive emergency rooms.

Ralph Forquera, executive director of the Seattle Urban Indian Health Board, said the cut (which he anticipated) honors neither the government's commitment to addressing health disparities affecting urban Indians nor tribal sovereignty. How does Bush feel about sovereignty issues? Here it goes: 'Tribal sovereignty means that, it's sovereign. You're a -- you're a -- you have been given sovereignty and you're viewed as a sovereignnininity.'

This is the second year that Bush has tried to eliminate funds for UIHP. Lawmakers teamed up with tribal leaders and community activists last year and restored the money.

Steps already have been taken to do the same thing again. It's too bad undoing the handiwork of this administration is a full-time job."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Indian Health: Icing on the cake (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer 2/8)

Relevant Documents:
Budget in Brief

Relevant Links:
National Council of Urban Indian Health - http://www.ncuih.org
National Indian Health Board - http://www.nihb.org
Indian Health Service - http://www.ihs.gov

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