November 13, 2014  |  Issue 14-33





Medicare, Medicaid Policy Committee Face to Face Meeting

November 18, 2014

Washington, DC 


Tribal Technical Advisory Group (CMS) Meeting 

November 19-20, 2014

Washington, DC

White House Tribal Nations Conference

December 3, 2014

Washington, DC


HHS Secretary's Tribal Advisory Committee Meeting

December 4-5, 2014

Washington, DC 


NIHB Tribal Public Health Summit 

April 7-9, 2015

California Area


NIHB Annual Consumer Conference

September 21-24, 2015

Washington, DC

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In This Issue


Upcoming Events

White House 2014 Tribal Nations Conference - December 3

The White House Tribal Nations Conference will be held on Wednesday, December 3, 2014, at the Capital Hilton located at 1001 16th St NW, Washington, D.C., from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Supplementary programming will take place the afternoon of December 2nd (please click here for a draft agenda and FAQ).  


The goal of this year's Conference is to bolster the meaningful discussion between Tribal leadership and the Administration, and further strengthen the Nation-to-Nation relationship between the United States and American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes.  

One representative from each Federally recognized Tribe is invited to attend this event.  
Capitol Hill Updates

Post Election, Still Little Clarity on FY 2015 Appropriations

On Tuesday, November 4, the United States voters chose to make a change in who controls the US Senate and the margin by which the House of Representatives is controlled.  In the Senate, Republicans gained several seats; they will now control the body by a 53 to 46 margin (In Louisiana, candidates will have a runoff election on December 6).  In the House of Representatives, Republicans netted a gain of 13 seats; the breakdown of that Chamber is 244-184 with a few races still undecided.  Click here for a full tally of election results by State and Congressional District.


Congress will return this week and begin considering the top leadership and committee positions for next Congress.  They will also be looking at emergency funding for the Ebola crisis and continuing behind-the-scenes work on the FY 2015 spending package.  


A path forward on FY 2015 Appropriations is still not clear.  Many in Congressional Leadership on both sides of the aisle are arguing that FY 2015 appropriations should be completed in a single "omnibus" appropriations bill by December 11.  This is the day when the current continuing resolution (CR) will expire.  Others, however, are calling for Congress to put off this decision until January or early February and enact another CR.  Still others, have said that Congress may choose to enact a full-year CR which would keep FY 2015 spending at FY 2014 levels.


Passing full-year appropriations would be more beneficial for the IHS/ Tribal and Urban health programs because they would be able to operate with knowledge of their budget for the remainder of the fiscal year. An omnibus would also ensure that current spending priorities are funded at needed amounts.  One example of this is in Contract Support Costs (CSC) where IHS had to cut $25.1 million at the end of the year from other programs in order to fill unmet CSC need.

If you have any questions about the FY 2015 Budget, please contact NIHB's Director of Congressional Relations, Caitrin Shuy, at or (202) 507-4085.
Administration Updates
On November 7, 2014, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear the case,

King v. Burwell, a case that could determine whether the Affordable Care Act (ACA) remains in its current form.  The case centers on the question of whether premium tax credits should only be available in state-based marketplaces, and not federally-facilitated marketplace.  Currently, they are available in both.  This past July, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled that the tax credits only applied to state- based exchanges and not federally-facilitated marketplace.  However, the D.C. Circuit agreed to rehear the same case en banc (reviewed by the entire panel of judges who sit on the D.C. Circuit) in December.   It surprised many when the Supreme Court agreed to hear this case before the D.C. Circuit could issue a new opinion.


The ACA provides a federal tax credit to low and middle income Americans to offset the cost of insurance policies purchased through the marketplace.  The marketplaces advance an individual's eligible tax credit dollars directly to health insurance providers as a means of reducing the upfront cost of plans to consumers.  The ACA gives primary responsibility for establishing the marketplaces to individual states. If a state does not create its own marketplace, the federal government, through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), establishes and operates the marketplace within the state. The Supreme Court will now hear the issue to determine whether this is authorized under the law.


King v. Burwell does not threaten the Indian Health Care Improvement Act but it may mean significant changes to the other parts of the ACA, especially the premium tax credit.  Given the fact that nearly 5 million people have already received subsidies through the federally-facilitated marketplace, the Court will likely defer to Congress to fix the error.  Since the Court won't likely hear the case until sometime in the spring, there is time to strategize how we can best ensure the Indian-specific provisions are protected.  


NIHB will keep you updated as this case develops.  For further information or if you have any questions, please contact Devin Delrow at or (202) 507-4072.


President Obama Awards Medal of Freedom to American Indian Woman

On November 10, President Barack Obama named nineteen recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Suzan Harjo, a citizen of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, is among President Obama's awardees. 


Suzan Harjo is a writer, curator, and activist who has advocated for improving the lives of Native peoples throughout her career.  As a member of the Carter Administration and as current president of the Morning Star Institute, she has been a key figure in many important Indian legislative battles, including the passage of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. 

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation's highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. The awards will be presented at the White House on November 24th.

You can view the White House press release on the Medal of Freedom here.
IHS Holds Weekly Ebola Update Calls

The Indian Health Service is conducting weekly updates on the Ebola outbreak. The webinars are scheduled weekly for the foreseeable future. This is a good opportunity to learn about treatment updates; hospital, clinical and provider preparedness; and the latest epidemiological reports on the outbreak. 


To join the webinars, log on to: and use room passcode "rounds".  The webinars are every Thursday at 1:00 PM eastern time.



CDC Business Health Executive Call: Ebola and Influenza Updates

On November 13, at 2:30-3:30pm EST, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will host a call on Influenza and Ebola updates.


USA Toll Free: 1-800-369-3345

International: +1-312-470-0182  

Verbal Passcode: EBOLA


Please click here for more information.


Center for Native American Youth Champions for Change Application Open

The Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) is currently accepting applications and nominations for the Champions for Change (CFC) program! CFC, designed to recognize and encourage positive Native youth-led efforts, has provided incredible opportunities for Native youth to grow as leaders both in their Tribal or urban Indian communities, as well as at the national level. The first two classes of Champions have participated in White House events, connected with their members of Congress, received fundraising and advocacy training from experts, and traveled across the country inspiring other Native youth. If you know of an awesome Native youth, nominate them using this form. If YOU are a Native youth making a positive impact in your community, start your application today!


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