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Dorgan Will Introduce Legislation Aimed At Improving Health Of American Indians

Armen Hareyan's picture

American Indian Health Care

Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) on Thursdaysaid that when Congress reconvenes he plans to bring up legislationthat would address American Indian health care, KFYR-TVreports. His legislation would provide grants to American Indianreservations and help establish programs to provide long-term healthservices to American Indians.

Dorgan this week held a publicmeeting with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in Fort Yates, N.D., todiscuss health care problems tribal members face, including theaccess to and the cost of care.

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"We've got to providedecent health care to the first Americans. We promised them, and therequirement to provide health care is in treaties. This is notsomething someone made up. It's in the treaties and these tribalgovernments are trying very hard to get the kind of health care theyneed for their tribal members," Dorgan said.

He addedthat Congress is working on changing the Indian Health CareImprovement Act to "[d]ramatically improve the delivery ofhealth care to Native Americans" (KFYR-TV, 1/3).

TheHouse Energy and Commerce HealthSubcommittee in November voted to approve legislation (HR 1328)that would extend the Indian Health Care Improvement Act throughfiscal year 2017 (Kaiser Health Disparities Report, 11/8/07). InSeptember 2007, the Senate FinanceCommittee by voice vote approved a separate bill (S 1200) thatalso would revise and reauthorize the Indian Health Care ImprovementAct through 2017 (Kaiser Health Disparities Report, 9/13/07).

Reprinted with permission fromkaisernetwork.org.You can view the entire KaiserWeekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives,and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report ispublished for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation.