July 16, 2008

Dorgan Effort Leads to $250 Million Investment in Indian Healthcare

On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate approved a measure offered by Senator Byron Dorgan that would give a $250 million boost to healthcare in Indian Country. Dorgan’s provision was part of larger effort that resulted in an additional $1.75 billion for infrastructure and public safety programs.
“There is a bona fide crisis in Indian healthcare,” said Senator Dorgan, Chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee. “This funding is a step in the right direction to ensure Indian Country has access to the critical healthcare services they desperately need.”
Dorgan secured the healthcare funding as part of the Global AIDS Bill. His provision was part of a larger package that made the following investments in Indian Country:
$250 million for Health Services
Funds for contract health services;
Funds for construction, rehabilitation and replacement of health facilities and;
Funds for safe drinking water and sanitation facilities.
$1 billion for Water Projects
50% of the total $2 billion will be used to implement Indian water supply projects approved by Congress. This will benefit both Indian tribes and nearby communities.
$750 million for Public Safety and Law Enforcement
Funds will be for detention facility construction, rehabilitation, and replacement through the Department of Justice;
A portion will go to the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Public Safety and Justice Account, which funds tribal police and courts;
Money will be used to increase investigations and prosecutions of crimes in Indian country;
Increases in funding to the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Program for Indian and Alaska Native Programs; and
Additional funding for cross deputization or other cooperative agreements between state or local governments and Indian tribes.