Hoeven: Senate Health Care Reform Legislation Preserves and Builds Upon the Indian Health Care Improvement Act
Draft Reform Includes Provision Providing 100 Percent Federal Reimbursement for Services Provided to Native Americans on Medicaid
WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today outlined provisions in the Senate’s draft health care reform legislation that preserve and build upon the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. Additionally, the legislation includes a provision to provide 100 percent federal reimbursement, regardless of the service provider, for care provided to Native Americans on Medicaid.
“We’re working to provide more choice and competition in our health care system, while at the same time insuring that low-income individuals have access to health care coverage either through refundable tax credits or Medicaid,” said Hoeven. “The draft Senate bill preserves and builds upon the Indian Health Care Improvement Act and includes an important provision that provides 100% federal reimbursement for services provided to Native Americans on the Medicaid program, regardless of the service provider. This will help ensure the federal government meets its obligation to provide health care for Native Americans and provide states with additional financial flexibility to meet the health care needs of their citizens.”
The Senate’s draft legislation would:
- • Preserve the Indian Health Care Improvement Act and other tribal-specific sections of Obamacare.
- o The tribal-specific provisions include: listing the Indian Health Service (IHS) and tribal health programs as the payor of last resort; permanent authority for the IHS and tribal health programs to bill for Medicare part B services; and a tax exemption for eligible individuals receiving health benefits from the IHS or tribal health programs.
- • Obamacare did not exempt Indian tribes from the employer mandate and as a result they are forced to pay a penalty for not providing insurance to their employees, including tribal employees who have access to health care through the IHS. The draft legislation fixes this problem.
- • Provide 100 percent federal reimbursement, regardless of the service provider, for health care services provided to Native Americans on Medicaid. This change will ensure that the federal government upholds its trust responsibility to fully fund Medicaid for Native Americans without a state cost share.
Next Article Previous Article