On Thursday August 6, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) submitted a letter to President Trump urging his Administration to endorse critical Tribal COVID-19 health priorities as negotiations continue on the next congressional pandemic relief package. The priorities outlined in NIHB’s letter reflect many urgent priorities communicated by Tribal leaders in furtherance of federal treaty obligations and to address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Tribal Nations and American Indian and Alaska Native people. The provisions outlined in NIHB’s letter to the President include:
- Minimum $2 billion in emergency funds for the Indian Health Service
- Minimum $1 billion for water and sanitation infrastructure across Indian Country
- Minimum $1 billion to replenish shortfalls in 3rd party reimbursements across the Indian health system
- Passage of the bipartisan S. 3937 – Special Diabetes Program for Indians Reauthorization Act of 2020
- Minimum 5% set-aside for the Indian health system for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, monitoring, and tracking
- Ensure direct funding to Tribes, and minimize or exempt Tribes from burdensome grant reporting and administrative requirements
Read the full letter.