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Bill Will Reauthorize Indian Health Care Improvement Act

Armen Hareyan's picture

The Senateon Jan. 22 will consider a bill (S 1200) that would reauthorize the Indian HealthCare Improvement Act, Indian Country Today reports (Reynolds, IndianCountry Today, 1/17).

The legislation, sponsored by Senate IndianAffairs CommitteeChair Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), would seek to increase the number of AmericanIndians in health care professions, increase funds for screening and healthprevention programs, and request the establishment and modernization of healthclinics. In addition, the bill would address access to care issues for AmericanIndians and expand mental health care programs.

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Two House committees have passed similar legislation (Jalonick, AP/Dickinson Press, 1/17).

However, efforts to reauthorize the law have been "met with Republicanresistance in four consecutive Congresses," as health care services forAmerican Indians in urban areas have become a "point of contention for aRepublican faction," according to Indian Country Today (IndianCountry Today, 1/17).

Dorgan said that the bill is a first step in efforts to improve the IndianHealth System and that he hopes to develop a "significant reformplan" to address problems with the system (AP/Dickinson Press,1/17).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Weekly HealthDisparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of TheHenry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.