Editorial: Save urban Indian clinics from Bush cut

"The Bush administration made the decision several years ago to quit funding urban Indian health clinics. The reasons seemed to change every year -- and even Republican-controlled Congresses rejected such a drastic course.

But the idea won't die. The administration continues to submit budgets without dollars, hoping to win the debate by attrition.

That's not going to happen because it is clear that the federal government has a moral obligation. After World War II, the U.S. policy was to move American Indians off reservations and into cities. The "relocation" program is no longer in place, but tens of thousands of native people moved into cities, where now more than half of all American Indians live.

Urban Indian health clinics are important because they are effective. They serve a population with specific cultural needs; they are patients who would delay treatment, resulting in more emergency room visits or costly treatment in the later stages of a disease. The president's "zero" budget would cost significantly more money because the same patients would return to reservation clinics or show up in urban emergency rooms."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Indian Health Care: Save the clinics (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer 3/22)

House Bill:
Indian Health Care Improvement Act Amendments of 2007 (H.R.1328)

Relevant Documents:
Letter to President Bush | Letter to Alberto Gonzales | DOJ White Paper

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

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