March 25, 2014  |  Issue 14-8





Oversight Hearing on the President's FY 2015 Budget for Tribal Programs

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

March 26, 2014

Washington D.C.

628 Senate Dirksen Bldg


Register now for the NIHB 5th Annual National Tribal Public Health Summit

March 31- April 2, 2014
 Billings, MT
Holiday Inn Grand Montana

 Click here for more information!
Legislative Hearing on Advanced Appropriations

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
April 2, 2014
Washington D.C.
628 Senate Dirksen Building
AI/AN Public Witness Hearing

House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee
April 7-8
Washington D.C.

Rayburn House Office Building in B-308


In This Issue


TOMMOROW: SCIA Holds Hearing on the President's FY 2015 Budget 


SPDI Legislative Alert


NEXT WEEK: SCIA Holds Hearing on Advanced Appropriations


Yesterday's National Tribal Day of Action for ACA Enrollment


NIHB Chair Presents to MAST

TOMORROW: SCIA Holds Hearing on the Presidents FY 2015 Budget

NIHB board member Andrew Joseph Jr. (Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation) will deliver testimony before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs tomorrow in an oversight hearing on President Obama's proposed FY 2015 budget for Tribal programs. Joseph will be joined on the second panel by two other witnesses - Chairman of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Aaron Payment and Chairman of the Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council Ivan Posey. The first panel's witnesses are Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn and Acting Director of IHS Dr. Yvette Roubideaux.


To watch the hearing online tomorrow at 2:30 PM (ET), click here.

NEXT WEEK: SCIA Holds Hearing on Advanced Appropriations

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA) will hold a hearing on April 2 to discuss, among other things, S. 1570 to amend the Indian Health Care Improvement Act to authorize Advanced Appropriations for the Indian Health Service (IHS) by providing 2-fiscal-year budget authority. To learn more about this issue, click here. 


NIHB strongly encourages all American Indian/Alaska Native Tribes or Tribal organizations to send letters and resolutions advocating for Advanced Appropriations to . Indian Country must stand together in support of this issue so that advance appropriations for of IHS can become a reality. NIHB urges tribes to join us in fighting for Advanced Appropriations. 


While this measure will not solve many of the complex budget issues for IHS, Advance appropriations would allow Indian health programs to effectively and efficiently manage budgets, coordinate care, and improve health quality outcomes for AI/ANs. Adopting advance appropriations for IHS would result in the ability for health administrators to continue treating patients without wondering if -or when- they would have funding.


Let's stop worrying about what happens if our loved ones get sick after June, insulate the IHS from harmful sequestration cuts or catastrophic government shutdowns and show Congress a united front. Click here for a sample letter and here for a sample resolution.


Hearing Date: 04/02/2014

Time: 2:30 PM
Location: 628 Senate Dirksen Bldg.


Please contact NIHB's Director of Congressional Relations, Caitrin Shuy, at if you have any questions about this hearing.


SPDI Legislative Alert

Through recent conversations with key Congressional members and staff, NIHB expects Congress to pass yet another short-term "doc fix" - the legislative vehicle typically used to reauthorize the Special Diabetes for Indians Program (SDPI) - before a reduction to physicians' Medicare reimbursements takes place on April 1. This would likely mean yet another short-term renewal for SDPI rather than the multi-year renewal recommended by NIHB and numerous other stakeholders across Indian Country.


Although a short-term patch would avert any potential interruption in SDPI funding, NIHB will continue to advocate for a longer authorization for SDPI. Join us in our efforts by filling out a sample letter here. You can also get SDPI postcards to distribute in your community by contacting Jordan Daniel at Look for additional advocacy information on NIHB's new website devoted to SDPI, which is coming soon.


Yesterday's National Tribal Day of Action for ACA Enrollment

Yesterday marked the National Tribal Day of Action for the Affordable Care Act Enrollment, reflecting the prime opportunity for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace at


The open enrollment deadline set for March 31, 2014 is quickly approaching. NIHB would like to reiterate that although members of federally recognized Tribes have a special monthly enrollment status, it is important for AI/AN individuals and families to learn about their insurance options. Whether it's purchasing insurance through the Marketplace or qualifying for Medicaid, knowing that you have quality coverage will provide peace of mind.


Sunday marked the fourth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act.  The law protects the rights of all Americans, including American Indians and Alaska Natives, to purchase affordable insurance.  Take action today to get covered. 

NIHB Chair Presents to MAST

Yesterday, NIHB's Chairperson Cathy Abramson presented a comprehensive legislative and policy update to the Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes (MAST) at the start of the organization's Impact Week in Washington, DC. Abramson outlined NIHB's key legislative issues, provided an update on SDPI, and discussed the President's proposed budget for FY2015 along with the Tribal budget request for FY 2016.


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