The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) sent two letters to Congress in October on funding for Indian health programs.
On Oct. 15, NIHB wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) to prioritize funding for the Indian Health Service (IHS), which Congress has continually underfunded.
In its draft appropriations legislation, the House generally maintained higher funding levels than the Senate did for IHS, and NIHB’s letter to Speaker Pelosi and Chairwoman Lowey call for the House to maintain those higher levels.
On Oct. 18, NIHB sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL), requesting that funding for the Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country (GHWIC) program be restored.
While the House has funded GHWIC at $21 million for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, the Senate did not fund the program at all in its draft appropriations language.
GHWIC currently supports 35 prevention and intervention programs in Indian Country to reduce death and disability from tobacco misuse, obesity, as well as diabetes, health disease, and stroke.
NIHB has also created template support letters for Tribes to send to House and Senate leaders.
For access to the templates and for more information visit nihb.org.