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Increase Proposed for Indian Health Service Budget
President Obama's proposed fiscal year 2015 budget authority for the Indian Health Service (IHS) includes a 4.5 percent increase. The proposed IHS budget appropriation request for fiscal year 2015 is $4.6 billion, which represents a $200 million increase over the fiscal year 2014 appropriation. Tribal consultation is fundamental to the IHS budget process, and the proposed budget incorporates tribal priorities and recommendations.
The budget request supports and expands the provision of health care services and public health programs for American Indians and Alaska Natives. The request includes:
- An additional $50 million to help obtain health care from the private sector through the Purchased/Referred Care program (formerly known as the Contract Health Services program). This program allows for the purchase of essential health care services that the IHS and tribes do not provide in their local facilities.
- An additional $71 million to support staffing and operating costs at four new and expanded facilities.
- An additional $30 million to fully fund the estimated amount of contract support costs for new and expanded contracts and compacts in fiscal year 2015. This will help tribes cover the cost of administrative functions for compacts or contracts established under the authority of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act.
- An additional $31 million to address medical inflation costs.
- Additional funding to pay costs for new tribes and restoration of reductions in the fiscal year 2014 operating plan.
Kayenta Health Center in Kayenta, Ariz.
Funding was also included to complete construction on three health care facilities (the Kayenta Health Center in Kayenta, Ariz.; the Northern California Youth Regional Treatment Center in Davis, Calif.; and the Ft. Yuma Health Center in Winterhaven, Calif.) and to continue construction on one facility (the Gila River Southeast Health Center in Chandler, Ariz.).
If the proposed budget is enacted, the IHS discretionary budget will have increased 38 percent since fiscal year 2008. The IHS fiscal year 2015 proposed budget is available online at http://www.ihs.gov/budgetformulation/congressionaljustifications.
The IHS, an agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 2.2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives who are members of federally recognized tribes.