IHS Announces Determination $30 Million for Urban Indian Health of $1.032 Billion from CARES Act
NCUIH Advocated for $94 Million for Urban Indian Health
April 6, 2020
Washington, DC (April 3, 2020) – Today, the Indian Health Service (IHS) announced in a Dear Tribal and Urban Indian Organization Leader Letter (DTLL/DUIOLL) its decision on funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The letter provides that out of the $1.032 billion Indian Health Service (IHS) received from the CARES Act, it will include $30 million for urban Indian health. Throughout the legislative process, NCUIH, UIOs and other partners advocated for the federal government to uphold its trust responsibility to Indian Country by including $1.1 billion for IHS with $94 million for urban Indian health.
“Across the country, Indian Health Care Providers have been on the front lines responding to this pandemic without adequate funding or resources like testing supplies and PPE. Over 70% of American Indians and Alaska Natives live in urban areas, which have been ravaged by this pandemic. Our facilities are fighting to keep their doors open so they can continue to provide for the families who need them most. Unfortunately, we’ve been disappointed in the federal government’s slow response to ensuring Indian Country has the resources it needs. In the time it has taken for action from the federal government, two of our programs have shut down including one for lack of PPE. Although NCUIH is pleased that desperately needed funding will get to Urban Indian Organizations soon, it is considerably less than what was advocated for and much less than the level of need to address the pandemic in urban Indian communities. We are hopeful the next phase of legislation continues to prioritize Indian Country. We are especially grateful to our champions in Congress who ensured that tribal members residing in urban areas were not forgotten yet again,” said Francys Crevier, Executive Director.
On March 27, 2020, the CARES Act was enacted as the third phase of legislation in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The bill provided $1.032 billion to the Indian Health Service (IHS) in critically needed resources to support the Indian Health System during the pandemic, including expanded support for medical services, equipment, supplies and public health education for IHS direct service, tribally operated and urban Indian health care facilities; expanded funding for purchased/referred care; and new investments for telehealth services, electronic health records improvement, and expanded disease surveillance by tribal epidemiology centers.
Earlier legislation included H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, enacted on March 18, and H.R. 6074, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, enacted on March 6.
Congressional leadership has indicated that the fourth phase of coronavirus response legislation is developing quickly. NCUIH will continue to advocate for a minimum of $94 million for UIOs.
• Letter to Tribal Leaders and Urban Indian Organization Leaders on IHS CARES Act Funding (April 3, 2020)
• Legislative Text of CARES Act
• NCUIH Policy Analysis: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) (March 27, 2020)
• Udall Statement on Tribal Provisions in Senate Bipartisan Emergency COVID-19 Relief Package Compromise Agreement
• Congressional Progressive Caucus Releases Priorities for Bold Legislative Action to Address Economic and Health Care Ramifications of COVID-19 Pandemic
• Letter from NCUIH, NCAI, NIHB, et al to House Leadership on COVID-19 Stimulus Package (March 20, 2020)
• Letter from NCUIH, NCAI, NIHB, et al to Senate Leadership on COVID-19 Stimulus Package (March 20, 2020)
• Families First Coronavirus Response Act includes $64 Million for Indian Health Service (March 20, 2020)
• Congress Announces $8.3 Billion for Coronavirus with Funding for Urban Indian Organizations (March 4, 2020)