From: Newsletter Update from U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman (NM Senator) - March 19, 2008
Just a few weeks ago the Senate passed the Indian Health Care Improvement Act by an 83-10 vote. The bill would modernize and improve Indian health care services by addressing problems such as aging health care facilities, staff shortages, funding shortfalls, and the challenges facing the Indian Health Service.
Native Americans have experienced inadequate funding for healthcare services -- and often substandard care -- for too long, which is why it is extremely important to enact this key legislation. The Senate is working with the House of Representatives to negotiate a final bill that can be signed into law.
An important ally in the fight to reauthorize the bill was The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). NCAI does an outstanding job encouraging Congress to take on the issues that matter most to Indian Country, and I am always pleased to work in partnership with the organization to pass important legislation such as the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. New Mexico's own Joe Garcia, of Ohkay Owingeh is the president of NCAI.
I was honored to receive the NCAIís Congressional Leadership Award at its 10th Annual Leadership Awards Banquet earlier this month.