Obama Statement on the Passage of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act
U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) today hailed the Senate's passage of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA) Amendments of 2007 (S.1200). Obama is an original cosponsor of the legislation.
"After more than fourteen years, the Senate took an important step today by voting to reauthorize the Indian Health Care Improvement Act and comprehensively modernize Native American health care services. With alarming health disparities between the Native American population and the American population as a whole, improvements to Native American health care could not come at a more urgent time.
"Too often throughout our nation's history, the federal government has not fulfilled its treaty obligations to Native Americans. Nowhere is this more evident than in the underfunding and neglect of Native American healthcare including the woefully inadequate funding of the Indian Health Service. Hopefully, enactment this year of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA) Amendments will signal that the federal government is finally prepared to accept its responsibility for meeting the health care needs of Native Americans.
"I commend Senator Dorgan and the Indian Affairs Committee for their leadership on this issue, and I call on the President to swiftly sign this legislation into law."