NIHB Board Member Andy Joseph, Jr. Testifies to Congress on the President's 2020 Budget Request for Indian Programs

Mr. Joseph advocated for full funding for IHS, Advance Appropriations, and the protection of the Community Health Representatives Program
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 8, 2019

Washington, DC.--Today, National Indian Health Board’s Member at Large and Portland Area Representative, Andy Joseph Jr. testified before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs regarding the President's Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Budget Request for Indian programs. He testified alongside leadership of the Department of Interior, the Indian Health Service (IHS), and the National Congress of American Indians. You can watch a recording of the hearing here .

Mr. Joseph spoke on the need to fully fund the Indian Health Service by following the Tribal Budget Formulation Workgroup's recommendation of a 12-year phase in for full funding at IHS, starting with a $7.03 billion appropriation for IHS in FY 2020. Mr. Joseph serves as the Tribal co-chair of the Workgroup, which meets annually to consult with the Department of Health and Human Services on the IHS budget. Click here to read the Workgroup's budget recommendations for 2020.

Chairman Joseph spoke on the need for Advance Appropriations for IHS. Advance Appropriations, which is when Congress appropriates an agency's budget some time in advance of when the money is actually available to the agency, would help IHS and Tribal health providers by providing certainty and stability to the Indian health system. With Advance Appropriations, situations like the government shutdown earlier this year would not hamper the ability of IHS and Tribes to provide health care services in Indian Country. To read more about Advance Appropriations, click here .

Another key topic addressed by Mr. Joseph and members of the Committee was the preservation of the Community Health Representatives Program (CHRs). The President’s budget for FY 2020 cuts the CHR program by $39 million and makes a new investment in the Community Health Aide Program (CHAP) of $20 million. While this is a welcomed investment in CHAP, which is a successful program serving Alaska Native communities that IHS is currently expanding to Tribes outside of Alaska, Mr. Joseph stated, “It should not come at the expense of other critical programs.”

For more information on the President's 2020 Budget Request to Congress and how it would impact the Indian health system, click here .
NIHB Board Member Andy Joseph, Jr. (right) Testifies to Senate Committee on
 Indian Affairs regarding the President's 2020 Budget Request to Congress
Please contact Brett Weber, NIHB Congressional Relations Coordinator, at bweber@nihb.org with any questions.


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