Effective and Efficient Health Care

POLICY STATEMENT

The United States has a federal trust relationship with Alaska Natives and Alaska Natives tribes based in the US Constitution and reaffirmed in federal statutes including the Snyder Act of 1921, the Indian Self-Determination Act, the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, and the Indian Child Welfare Act. The services available to Alaska Natives are a direct consequence of this federal trust responsibility. The United States has a legal, moral and ethical duty to promote the health and welfare of Native people.

In recognition of the United States trust responsibility to provide tribal health care, Congress created the Indian Health Service (IHS), and tasked the agency with providing health services to tribes across the country. Whereas full funding for services to Native people would be over $30 billion annually, today, IHS is only funded at $5.2 billion. That is a shortage of almost $25 billion. No wonder we suffer from health issues. Tribal people will not overcome the significant health disparities with blatantly underfunded programs.

  • We support candidates who understand the trust responsibility and relationship with Alaska Native people, and who act upon that responsibility by ensuring the health care service funding the federal government is obligated to provide. This includes:
    • Full funding to Indian Health Services
    • Increased funding for water and sanitation programs in rural Alaska
  • We support candidates who seek to decrease the high costs of health care; recognize the need of all citizens to access health care including preventative health; and understand the importance of health care reform as an economic stabilizer.