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Statement by IHS Acting Director Elizabeth Fowler on the President's Funding Request for the Indian Health Service

Today, President Biden submitted his Fiscal Year 2022 discretionary funding request Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  to Congress which includes an increase of $2.2 billion for the Indian Health Service, for a total of $8.5 billion. This major investment in our communities will support our ongoing efforts to address long-standing health inequities experienced by American Indians and Alaska Natives. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the need for comprehensive, culturally appropriate personal and public health services that are available and accessible to American Indian and Alaska Native people.

The budget request for the IHS is developed in close partnership with tribes, tribal organizations, urban Indian organizations, and other key stakeholders to ensure it reflects the evolving health needs of American Indian and Alaska Native people and communities. Importantly, the request also includes an advance appropriation request for the IHS for the first time. Advance appropriation would set the Fiscal Year 2023 budget as well. This has been a priority for our tribal partners and will ensure a more predictable funding stream for the IHS. The budget also announces plans to seek additional input from tribal leaders to evaluate options, including mandatory funding, to provide adequate, stable, and predictable funding for the IHS in the future.

Additional details will be available in the coming months when the administration releases the President’s Budget, which will present a unified, comprehensive plan to address the overlapping crises we face in a fiscally and economically responsible way. We appreciate the continued support of President Biden and Congress as we work to raise the physical, mental, social and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest level.