PRESS RELEASE: NCUIH’s Response to President Trump's FY 2020 Budget Request

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact: Meredith Raimondi
Manager, Communications & Events
National Council of Urban Indian Health
202-544-0344
mraimondi@ncuih.org 

NCUIH’s Response to President Trump's FY 2020 Budget Request

The National Council of Urban Indian Health applauds a proposed Indian Health Service increase but is concerned about proposed cuts potentially impacting Urban Indian Health Programs.

Washington, DC (March 12, 2019) — On Monday, March 11, 2019, President Trump released his request for the FY 2020 budget to Congress.  Under the request, the Indian Health Service (IHS) would receive $5.9 billion in FY 2020, a projected increase of $392 million above the President’s FY 2019 budget.  NCUIH, as part of the Tribal Budget Formulation Workgroup (TBFWG), had encouraged the Administration to fund IHS at $7 billion with an urban Indian health line item of $32.7 million increase for FY 2020. The IHS proposed budget falls more than $1 billion short of TBFWG’s overall IHS recommendation. The President’s budget does not delineate its recommendation for the urban Indian health line item at this time.

“NCUIH appreciates the budget proposal’s recommended increase for IHS of $392 million above the FY 2019 budget. There are some concerns regarding proposed cuts to programs impacting urban Indian health, including Medicaid, which is a vital source of access to care for AI/ANs. We look forward to the opportunity to continue to work with the Administration to advance shared priorities between tribes and urban Indians to fully fund IHS”, said Executive Director Francys Crevier.

The proposed budget seeks to cut funding to several key programs vital to the Indian health system and UIHPs. Overall, the budget proposal would cut the Department of Health and Human Services funding by 12%.  In addition, the Administration proposes a $4.5 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including a nearly $900 million cut to the National Cancer Institute and $769 million cut to the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, which includes most of NIH’s HIV research. Also, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s budget would be cut by $1.27 billion overall, though its program centering on vaccines for children would increase by $586 million.

The budget would also eliminate Medicaid's open-ended funding and, instead, proposes fixed grants to states or setting per-person caps, a major transformation that was recommended as part of efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.  This move would slash states' budgets for the Medicaid program and limit access to health care for recipients, including AI/AN individuals. Congress intended that the Medicaid program supplement an underfunded Indian health system when it authorized Medicaid reimbursements– and a loss of Medicaid revenues would be detrimental to AI/AN health.

Congress will consider the President's request as it begins to draft appropriations bills for FY 2020.  NCUIH will monitor updates and provide more information as it becomes available.

About the National Council of Urban Indian Health (https://ncuih.org)

The National Council of Urban Indian Health (NCUIH) is the premier National 501(c)(3) organization devoted to the support and development of quality, accessible, and culturally-competent health services for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) living in urban settings. NCUIH envisions a nation where comprehensive, culturally competent personal and public health services are available and accessible to AI/ANs living in urban communities throughout the United States.  NCUIH represents 42 Urban Indian Health Programs (UIHPs) in the United States.

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You may review the recommendations of the Tribal Budget Formulation Workgroup for FY 2020 here.

For additional questions, comments, or concerns, please contact NCUIH Director of Congressional Relations Carla Lott at cmlott@ncuih.org or Director of Federal Relations Julia Dreyer at jdreyer@ncuih.org

By Meredith Raimondi, posted on Tuesday March 12, 2019
budget, ihs, policy
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