National Council of Urban Indian Health
On May 28, the Biden Administration released the detailed annual budget proposal for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. The proposal includes a total of $131.7 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which represents a nearly 23.5% increase to current enacted budget for FY21. The request includes $8.5 billion for the Indian Health Service (IHS) and $100 million for urban Indian health.
The National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH) and the Tribal Budget Formulation Workgroup (TBFWG) requested the Administration to fund the Indian Health Service at $12.759 billion with an urban Indian health line item of $200.5 million for FY 2022. These suggested increases were formulated to counteract failed Indian healthcare policies and to fulfill the federal trust obligations to Tribal Nations in the administration of healthcare to American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations.
"For decades, urban Indian health has been severely underfunded even though more than 70% of American Indians and Alaska Natives reside in urban areas. We are pleased to see the President's inclusion of $100 million for urban Indian health in FY22, which represents an important step towards achieving full funding. As the federal trust responsibility for health care follows all Natives off of reservations into the cities where many of us reside today, it is encouraging to see the Administration and Congress finally prioritizing the Indian health system with a significant increase in resources for next year," said Francys Crevier.
On April 14, 2021, National Council of Urban Indian Health submitted public witness written testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies regarding Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 funding for Urban Indian Organizations (UIOs).
On April 12, 2021, President Biden released his discretionary budget request for Fiscal Year FY 22, pending the more detailed Indian Health Service budget request released today, which includes specifics on the Indian Health Service budget request, including the funding recommendations for urban Indian health. The request includes $8.5 billion in discretionary funding for Indian Health Service, a $2.2 billion increase from FY21. The $2.2 billion increase for Indian Health Service will go towards promoting health equity for American Indian/Alaska Natives. The proposal also includes an advance appropriation for Indian Health Service in FY23 to ensure a more predictable funding stream.
Congress will consider President Biden’s request as it begins to draft appropriations bills for FY 2022. A more in-depth analysis of the White House’s FY 2022 budget is forthcoming.