Share “Tribal health care changes promised”

BY CHRIS CASTEEL Modified: October 21, 2009 at 4:21 am •  Published: October 21, 2009
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Tr
ibes run clinics with Indian Health Service funding, along with reimbursements from Medicaid, Medicare and insurers.

Still, nearly all involved agree the health service is chronically underfunded and ill-equipped to deal with a population that suffers from much higher than normal incidences of diabetes, tuberculosis, alcoholism, infant mortality and suicide.

"Less is spent on providing health care to American Indians per capita than any other sub-population,” Pallone said. "In fact, we spend more to provide health care to federal inmates than we do for American Indians.”

Yvette Roubideaux, director of the Indian Health Service, said President Barack Obama had proposed the largest increase in funding in 20 years for the agency. Though more money won’t solve all the problems, she said, it would help.