Special News for Indian Country
US House Appropriations Include Centers for Disease Prevention Increases for Indian Country
Programs for FY 2022
On July 15, 2021, the House Appropriations Committee advanced their Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Labor, Health, Human Services, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) appropriations bill by a vote of 33-25. Overall, the Labor-HHS bill seeks to approve a 39% increase in its 2022 funding over FY 2021.

The Labor-HHS appropriations legislation contains funding for all other health services and public health programs that are outside of the Indian Health Service budget; including those that have been vital during the COVID-19 public health emergency since declared in March 2020.
The legislation contains $10.571 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) an increase of $2.7 billion above FY 2021 enacted. President Biden had requested $9.5 billion for CDC in FY 2022, but the bill largely follows the request of the Biden Administration. The bill contains $842 million for Public Health Preparedness and Response, which includes a targeted increase of $20 million for Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Cooperative Agreements. 

The CDC is the lead federal public health agency monitoring infectious and chronic disease in the United States and administers and supports several programs including the Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country Program. Through the like PHEP cooperative agreements, CDC supports capacity building of Tribal Governments to ensure effective and efficient emergency preparedness planning and response.

Key Funding for Important Tribal Programs Outside Indian Health Service (IHS)
NIHB continues to strongly advocate for important Indian health programs funded under the Labor-HHS budget by agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Generally, the majority of Tribally-specific programs received increased funding beyond their FY 2021 enacted levels, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In May 2020, NIHB submitted its testimony to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services outlining its priorities across the various operating divisions including:

  • Indian Health Service (IHS)
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  • Office of Minority Health (OMH)
  • Health Resources Administration (HRSA)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Under CDC, the Committee increased funding for the Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country (GHWIC) program at $27 million for FY 2021, a substantial increase over the $22 million enacted for FY 2021.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
The House Appropriations Committee has recognized the importance of addressing mental and behavioral health resources. The House bill for SAMHSA funds the Tribal Behavioral Health Grants at levels of $25 million for mental health and $25 million for substance abuse. Federal efforts such as SAMHSA’s Tribal Behavioral Health Grant program focus not only on preventing and reducing suicidal behavior and substance use and promoting mental health but also on addressing the impact of trauma.

Tribes and Tribal organizations can propose activities that are aligned with the particular needs of their communities, such as implementing community events to address historical and intergenerational trauma, beginning collective conversations about trauma, and building consensus on solutions.

Similarly, Congress increased Tribal Opioid Response Grants to $75 million (a 25% increase) Tribal set-aside in opioid response grants, and an increased $16.5 million Tribal set-aside for medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

The American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) set-aside in Zero Suicide grants are funded at $3.4 million, which is a $1.2 million increase from FY 2021 funding, and the AI/AN Suicide Prevention Initiative is also increase to a $3.4 million.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
The Bureau of Health Workforce budget includes a $15 million set-aside in National Health Service Corps placements within IHS, Tribal and urban Indian facilities.

The bill also removed legislative language prohibiting funding for a dental demonstration grant. With that language removed, Tribes and states would be eligible for grant funding to implement dental workforce innovations, like dental therapists.

Office of Minority Health (OMH) Equity Efforts
While no Tribally-specific funds are outlined in the total amount for the Office of the Secretary, the House Appropriations Committee “supports the Office of Minority Health (OMH) and its efforts to advance health equity—however, the Committee believes the OMH currently lacks sufficient capacity to lead a broad and bold effort to address health disparities and that HHS should establish a National Center on Antiracism and Health Equity (Center) within the Department to lead efforts to identify and understand the policies and practices that have a disparate impact on the health and well-being of communities of color[…]to provide information and education to the public on the public health impacts of health disparities and on health equity interventions, among other details.”

Administration for Children and Families
Within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), the Committee proposes funding the Native American Caregiver Support Program at $15.8 million, a more than $5 million increase over the FY 2021 enacted budget, and the Native American Nutrition and Supportive Services at $70.2 million, a significant increase of $35 million over the FY 2021 enacted level.

For copy of bill text, click here.
For copy of the Committee Report, click here.

The full House of Representatives is expected to consider the entire FY 2022 federal budget during the last two weeks in July. The Senate has not yet released any of its FY 2022 Appropriations bills.

For any questions, contact NIHB Congressional Relations Manager, Erin Morris at emorris@nihb.org or 202-507-4085.
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