NIHB signs on to Joint Letter to Congress Regarding Tribal Priorities

On Tuesday, February 2, 2021, the National Indian Health Board joined the National Congress of American IndiansNational Council of Urban Indian Health and fifteen Tribal organizations in a letter to Congress to ensure that Indian Country’s COVID-19 concerns and priorities are comprehensively addressed in the next relief package.

The Tribal health priorities outlined in the letter are as follows:

  • Minimum $8 billion directly related to the COVID-19 public health response to the Indian/Tribal/Urban (I/T/U) system including:
    • Minimum $1 billion vaccination distribution and implementation
    • Minimum $250 million in COVID-19 testing
    • Minimum $200 million for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), medical supplies, and the deployment of supplement medical personnel
  • Minimum $1 billion for Native veterans’ health through the Veterans Health Administration
  • Minimum $200 million tribal set aside for support of mental and behavioral health programs
  • Minimum $40 million tribal set aside for programs that serve as response to domestic abuse
  • Minimum $3 billion in funds to replenish third party revenue loss in the I/T/U system
  • Minimum $2.67 billion for the construction and improvement of water and sanitation infrastructure for the I/T/U system and Tribal communities
  • Extend full (100 percent) Federal Medical Assistance Percentage to Urban Indian Organizations
  • Permanently extend waivers under Medicare for the use of telehealth

Read the full letter.