New York Times on Indian health care

According to today’s New York Times, American Indians should receive far better care under the changes being proposed to American health care.

In a meeting last month with the leaders of 564 American Indian tribes President Obama stated: “Native Americans die of illnesses like tuberculosis, alcoholism, diabetes, pneumonia and influenza at far higher rates,” Mr. Obama said. “We’re going to have to do more to address disparities in health care delivery.”

The Times states that the health care overhaul being debated in Congress would appears to bring significant improvements to the Indian health system. Provisions under consideration in the bill could, over time, direct streams of money to the Indian health care system and give Indians more treatment options.

Senator Byron L. Dorgan, D-North Dakota, says “full-scale health care rationing [is] going on on Indian reservations. We’ve got the ‘first Americans’ living in third world conditions.”

President Obama has emphasized Indian issues more than most presidents. He campaigned on reservations, was adopted by a Crow Nation family, created a senior policy adviser for American Indian affairs and appointed a Cherokee citizen to the post, and gave Indians other high-ranking positions.

Congress has heard extensive testimony about the lack of health care in Indian country.

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0 Responses to New York Times on Indian health care

  1. Anonymous says:

    I have read the articled & viewed the video posted. Fact: NDN healthcare is 3rd world country access and quality of care. But this is NOTHING new. It’s been going on for generations yet most Americans (non Natives) don’t care. For me to read, hear what Senators & Reps have to say is ~ blah, blah, blah. Healthcare is rationed, accessing services means you have to commit to driving out many miles which costs money if you live on the Reservation. Now, if you live in the Urban areas, most likely, your Native Nation doesn’t want to deal with it. I, personally, accessed basic care at the Morongo Nation (California), which you had to prove you’re NDN and live in the County where they are at: Riverside County. Then you had to drive 1.5 hours to get there. You can only get basic care nothing more. It’s sad but true.
    Quality of care is another glaring issue. I have worked at a premier healthcare corporation / facilities where standards are pretty high. Will you get that at Indian Health Service? God bless them but it’s still is lacking in standards. Physicians are not held to a higher standard as in the Urban areas where physician credentialing is strictly followed as per State standards, Peer Review standards, Hospital’s Board of Directors, et al. I hear of patients – doctor interactions (Arizona) makes me wonder how they can call themselves doctors. Some are just biding time in service to pay off their school debts. Everyone including the Federal Government has been having these “progressive dialogue” for years. So what, it’s just talk. All Natives deserve and should get access to healthcare and higher quality of care too. Pronto.


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