“If the Indian Health Service was fully funded, we would be able to implement some of the programs we can’t currently offer. And I believe there would be a direct correlation between increased funding and improved health status for Native people.” –Dr. Donna Polk-Primm, CEO, Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition
The United States government has an obligation based on treaty and statute to meet the health care needs of Native people. The Indian Health Service (IHS), a federal agency, provides health care to many Native people but also has been severely and chronically underfunded. To illuminate the problem of IHS underfunding, this report shares the perspectives of directors, administrators and physicians at health care organizations within the IHS system. These health care facilities deliver crucial services to Native people but often cannot provide needed comprehensive services because of the severe shortfall in resources.
The average cost of mainstream health insurance plans is approximately 40% greater than the Indian Health Service (IHS) funding level for American Indian and Alaska Native people. This funding gap limits health care services and contributes to the lingering disparities of death and disease among Indians. The first step needed to redress this shortfall wasContinue reading “House Takes First Step To Increase Indian Health Services Funding”