Urban Indians in New Mexico feel left out on health

Urban Indians in New Mexico want a bigger role in the way health care is delivered to tribal members in the state.

The State Legislature is considering HB 784, the Native American Health Care Improvement Act, a bill that would set up a $10 million health care fund. Urban Indians would have two seats on the Native American Health Council, which decides how to use the money.

Despite their inclusion on the council, urban Indians fear their views will be overshadowed by tribal governments, who will have eight seats. They note that 50,000 tribal members live in urban areas, compared to 40,000 on reservations.

"If we have the majority and we only have two seats, it's not fair and equitable," John Lewis of Albuquerque Diné told The Albuquerque Journal.

Originally, the bill didn't provide any representation for urban Indians.

Get the Story:
Urban Indians Feel Health Plan Pinch (The Albuquerque Journal 3/8)

Relevant Links:
Indian Health Service - http://www.ihs.gov

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