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Interview: Inadequate health care in Indian Country

The Arizona Republic interviews Dr. Don Warne, the president and CEO of American Indian Health Management and Policy. AIHMP will be hosting the first American Indian Health Policy Conference later this week on the Fort McDowell Reservation.

Arizona Republic: "What is the funding for Indian Health Service compared with other federal agencies?"

Warne: "Per capita, for Indian Health Service, it's about $1,914 per person per year. Federal prisons is about $3,803 per person per year. Medicaid is $3,879 per person per year. If you're a convicted federal prisoner, you have double the (health) resources than if you're a Native American child. There's no way policymakers would accept this for their own families."

Arizona Republic: "Is one segment of the Native American population at more of a disadvantage than another due to underfunding?"

Warne: "We have unique issues for urban Indians. A lot of people moved to the cities for education and occupational opportunities. About 60 percent of American Indians live in urban settings; only 40 percent live on reservations. We have a whole segment, a majority, of enrolled American Indian members that have decreased access to health care because they live in cities. Nowhere is it written that once they move to the city, they forfeit their access to health care."

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Improved Indian health care discussed (The Arizona Republic 1/16)

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