Some urban Indians denied care at request of IHS

Some urban Indians who are members of state-recognized tribes or who lack certain documentation are being denied care at the request of the Indian Health Service, the Associated Press reports.

Under the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, members of state recognized tribes can be eligible for some services. But many say the IHS has been telling urban clinics not to help them.

"We actually got requests from IHS to deny service to the Mashpees," said Barbara Namias of the urban clinic in Boston, Massachusetts. The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is recognized by the state and recently won federal recognition.

In California, the state's definition of Indian is more expansive than the federal government's. Some tribes were terminated and others were never recognized but their descendants should still be eligible for care, advocates say.

The Bush administration has proposed to eliminate the $33 million urban Indian health program.

Get the Story:
Some health clinics deny care to urban Indians (AP 3/7)

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

Relevant Links:
Indian Health Service -
National Indian Health Board -

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