Raising Women’s Voices

Capitol Hill Watch | Lawmakers, American Indian Health Officials Call For Budget Increase To Indian Health Service’s Contracting Program

Posted in Affordability, Health Disparities by raisingwomensvoices on July 21, 2008

Inadequate funding to the annual budget for the Indian Health Service‘s Contract Health Service program is restricting access to essential health care services for American Indian patients, lawmakers and witnesses said on Thursday at a Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing, CQ HealthBeat reports.

The CHS program purchases health care services from non-IHS providers for IHS beneficiaries when care from an IHS facility is not available. Committee Chair Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and witnesses, which included state health care administrators and tribal health care officials, said the current budget of $579 million for the CHS program should be more than doubled to $1.3 billion. Dorgan said, “We must fully fund, we must adequately fund and we must make Contract Health Service work.”

read_more: http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=53009

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