NPAIHB Legislative & Policy Update
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
IMPORTANT DATES
May 12, 2021
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
Discussion on the safety, efficacy, and immunogenicity of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in youth aged 12 - 15 years. 
 
May 12, 2021  
TTAG Monthly Meeting
11:30 a.m. Pacific
 
May 12, 2021  
House Energy and Commerce Committee Hearing on the HHS Budget 
7:30 a.m. Pacific

May 12-13, 2021 
SAMHSA Tribal Advisory Committee 
 
May 24-27, 2021 
ATNI Mid-Year Convention 

May 26, 2021  
CDC/ATSDR Tribal Advisory Committee Meeting 
11:00 a.m. Pacific

May 26, 2021 
CDC/ATSDR Tribal Advisory Committee Meeting
11:00 a.m. Pacific
 
May 26-27, 2021 
NIHB Second Quarter Board Meeting 
 
Jun 8, 2021 
IHS Consultation on IHS Tribal Consultation Policy 
10:00 a.m. Pacific

Jun 14-16, 2021 
HHS Region 10 Tribal Consultation 
FEDERAL HEALTH AGENCY AND CONGRESS TRACKER (FHACT)
An ongoing list of Dear Tribal Leader Letters, Federal agency actions, and legislation introduced in the 117th Congress related to health. 
ACTION ALERTS
IHS Portland Area Office issued a Dear Tribal Leader Letter on April 14, 2021 to seek input on critical components of the Portland Area Community Health Aide Program Certification Board.  Written comments are due May 14, 2021.  
 
House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHE) Appropriations Subcommittee Public Witness Testimony for FY 2022. The deadline to submit written testimony is May 19, 2021. 
  • Instructions for submitting written testimony are provided at this link. 
Veterans Affairs (VA) Advisory Committee on Tribal and Indian Affairs  The VA posted notice of the establishment of the Advisory Committee on Tribal and Indian Affairs (Committee).  The Committee will be composed of 15 Members including at least one member from each of the 12 IHS service areas. Nomination packages are due Jun 1, 2021 no later than 2pm Pacific. 
 
IHS Tribal ConsultationIHS announced initiation of Tribal Consultation on
Tuesday, June 8th at 10:00 PST to seek input and recommendations to improve the IHS Tribal Consultation Policy.  Additionally, IHS is seeking nominations of two Tribal Leaders from each Area to serve on the IHS Director's Advisory Workgroup on Tribal Consultation. Nominations are due to the IHS Area Director by Jun 15, 2021.   
LEGISLATIVE & APPROPRIATIONS UPDATES
S.Res.196 / H.Res.368 / H.Res. 369 - Expressing Support for the designation of May 5, 2021, as the "National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls". Senator Daines (R-Montana) along with Representatives Newhouse (R-Washington) and Grijalva (D-Arizona) introduced 
bipartisan resolutions designating May 5 as a National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous women and relatives. The resolutions and related efforts seek not only to express support, commemorate and seek solidarity with families of victims but recognize that there is more work to be done to address this nationwide crisis. These resolutions follow passage of 
Savanna's Act (P.L. 116-165) and the Not Invisible Act (P.L. 116-166), and the House passage of the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2021 (H.R. 1620) as well as Sec. Haaland announcing the creation of a Missing and Murdered Unit within the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services. 
 
H.R.2903 / S.1512 CONNECT for Health Act. Sen. Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Thompson (D-California) reintroduced legislation to expand telehealth access,
and make permanent telehealth flexibilities available during COVID-19 pandemic.
The Act would allow telehealth to be used to deliver mental health and emergency care and allow new sites such as federally-qualified health centers to deliver care through telehealth.
 
 
NPAIHB submitted testimony before the House Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the U.S. -Oversight Hearing: Infrastructure in Indigenous 
Communities
.
 The testimony included Portland Area infrastructure funding requests
for the regional specialty referral center, facilities construction, health IT modernization, tribal broadband, and tribal work force.  
 
Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations Subcommittee Public Witness Testimony for FY 2022.  The deadline to submit written testimony is Jun 24, 2021. 
Senate Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee Public Witness Testimony for FY 2022.  The deadline to submit written testimony is Jun 25, 2021.  
ADMINISTRATIVE and REGULATORY UPDATES
Health and Human Services (HHS) announces Regional Tribal Consultations.
HHS issued a Dear Tribal Leader Letter on May 5, 2021 announcing the dates of the Regional Tribal Consultations and their intent to convene a special workgroup of the Secretary's Tribal Advisory Committee (STAC) to review written comments and develop a plan to strengthen the HHS Tribal Consultation Policy.  Region 10 Tribal Consultation will be Jun 14-16, 2021.  
COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund for Underinsured. HHS announces new reimbursement program for COVID-19 vaccine administration fees for patients whose health insurance doesn't cover vaccine administration fees or has patient cost-sharing.   
NPAIHB Submitted Testimony on the HHS FY 2023 Tribal Budget.  The testimony highlighted the policy priorities of the Northwest Tribes, including honoring trust and treaty obligations by fully funding the Indian Health Service at $48 billion, Medicaid legislative initiatives such as removing the four walls limitation and extending 100% FMAP for urban providers, modifying the Health Professionals Shortage Area scoring and expanding loan forgiveness, funding to reimburse tribes that have purchased commercial off the shelf systems, direct funding for tribal public health infrastructure, and additional funding for youth behavioral health services.   
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is scheduled to meet Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 8:00am PST to consider recommendations for the safety, efficacy, and immunogenicity of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in youth aged 12 - 15 years.   On May 10, 2021, the FDA approved for emergency use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for persons aged 12-15 years. 
Emergency Broadband Benefit - Federal Communications Commission Program application opens May 12, 2021. The program provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households as well as an enhanced tribal benefit for those living on qualifying tribal lands. The benefit includes up to a $50/month discount on your broadband service and associated equipment rentals, up to a $75/month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands, and a a one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50). 
Interior Announced the America the Beautiful Initiative.  The report was provided to the National Climate Task Force which recommends a ten year, locally led campaign to conserve and restore lands and waters.  The report is guided by a number of principles, including honoring tribal sovereignty, treaty, and subsistence rights, and freedom of religious practices.  
Treasury announces formula for $20 Billion Tribal set aside established under the American Rescue Plan ActThe Coronavirus State and Local Recovery Funds will help support urgent COVID-19 response efforts to continue to decrease the spread of the virus, replace lost revenue for Tribal governments, support stabilization for households and businesses in Indian Country and address systemic public health and economic challenges that have contributed to the inequal impact of the pandemic on Tribal communities. 
LITIGATION UPDATES
  • Complaint Filed in U.S. District Court in Eastern Oklahoma 
NPAIHB Joins Amicus Brief in the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe v. Blue Cross Blue Shield Appeal. Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe filed an appeal to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that payments made by the Tribe's self-insured plan qualify for repricing at Medicare Like Rates consistent with federal statute and regulation. 

For more information
 Laura Platero, Executive Director
Lisa L. Griggs, Executive and Program Ops Assistant | Candice Jimenez, Health Policy Specialist | Liz Coronado, Health Policy Specialist
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