Indian Health Care Improvement Act (health)

Dear Tribal Leaders, Native Community Members and Native Health Providers,

It has been a long road to get to this point; we are on the cusp of reauthorizing the Indian Health Care Improvement Act for the first time since 1992. The IHCIA is part of the health care reform bill, which has seen its own roller-coaster ride through Congress. We are so close to realizing passage of the bill, the House is expected to vote in the coming days on the Senate passed bill, then both chambers will consider a "reconciliation bill." If the House passes the Senate health care bill, it will be ready to be signed into law.  The Indian Health Care Improvement Act would be a realization for Indian Country at that signing.

 Not only does the health care reform bill include the IHCIA, it includes many provisions that will protect the Indian Health Care system from the reforms instituted by the broader bill. These provisions will ensure the treaty obligations and trust responsibility is not diminished, but rather affirmed, through the passage of health care reform.  The current pending Senate version of IHCIA includes permanent reauthorization.

 The vote in the House is the major obstacle, if it does not pass, the effort will fall short. Now more than ever, your members of Congress need to hear from YOU. The stories and passion only you can provide about the need for this bill in your communities is what will help members see the need to pass the bill. I know everyone is busy with the day-to-day activities of their work, but just a few minutes to call members of Congress can mean the difference whether Indian Country can see its health care system brought into the 21st century. 

 We cannot count on the same members who voted for the bill the first time around to be an automatic "yes" for this bill; they need to hear from constituents, they need to be held accountable for their votes. Let them know Indian Country wants them to vote YES for health care reform, because it is health care for all Americans.

 I urge each of you to call our staff at the National Indian Health Board and let them assist you in contacting your members of congress immediately.

 National Indian Health Board Staff

Stacy A. Bohlen - Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa 
Executive Director, Media Contact, NIHB Board Liaison  
Phone: 202-507-4070 

Jessica L. Burger, RN - Little River Band of Ottawa Indians 
Director of Government Relations 
Phone: 202-507-4079 

Rick Haverkate, MPH - Saulte Ste. Marie Chippewa Indians 
Director of Public Health 
Phone: 202-507-4074

 Jennifer Cooper, JD, MPA - Seneca Nation of Indians 
Legislative Director 
Phone: 202-507-4076 

 Thank you for your attention, thank you for reaching out, I look forward to speaking with you all soon, when the IHCIA is law!

 Yours in health,

 Mr. Reno Keoni Franklin
Elected Tribal Health Delegate, Kashia Pomo Tribe
Chairman, California Rural Indian Health Board
Chairman, National Indian Health Board
4400 Auburn Blvd, 2nd Floor
Sacramento, CA 95841
(916) 929-9761
(707) 291-2737 cell