Federal Policy Issues
There is a “special relationship” between the United States and Indian Tribes, which establishes a federal responsibility to provide health services to Indian people. This federal obligation was established through treaties and Presidential Executive Orders entered into between the United States and Indian Tribes. This obligation has been affirmed through numerous court decisions, legislation, and policy declarations by Presidential Administrations. This federal relationship forms the legal and moral foundation for the creation of health policies between the United States and Indian Tribes.
The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board is dedicated to upholding the responsibility of the United States to provide health services to Indian people under the federal trust relationship by:
- Advocating and educating Congressional representatives on treaty rights and how such rights relate to health care in Indian Country.
- Developing an Annual Legislative plan to provide recommendations on the President’s annual budget and other health care financing programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
- Tracking legislation and other important health policy issues that affect the delivery of health care to American Indian and Alaska Native people.
- Finally, facilitating consultation between state and federal agencies and Tribal leaders on health policy issues in order to understand respective concerns to make important decisions on programs and services that effect Indian people.
To learn about Senate Bills and House Reports that may affect American Indian and Alaska Native people in the Northwest read on, or visit Resolutions.
See the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and the House Resources SubCommittee on Indian and alaska Native Affairs for a list of legislation that impacts Indian programs. Pending legislation can be tracked using the Floor Activity weekly feature of Thomas.