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National Indian Health Board:Washington Report: Issue 18-46

December 20, 2018

December 18, 2018 |  Issue 18-46


Donate to NIHB Through the Combined Federal Campaign!



MMPC Monthly Call

December 18, 2018

2:00-4:00pm ET

Call in: 1-866-866-2244

MMPC Regulations Workgroup
December 19, 2018
3:00 – 4:00pm ET
Call in: 1-866-866-2244
Passcode: 638415

National Tribal Advisory Committee on Behavioral Health

December 20-21, 2018

Albuquerque, NM


IHS All Tribal & Urban Indian Organization Leaders Call

January 3, 2019

3:30–4:30 PM EST

Call in number: 800-857-5577

Code: 6703929



116th Congress Sworn Into Office
January 3, 2019

Washington, DC


Tribal Self Governance Advisory Committee Meeting

January 22 – 23, 2019

Washington, DC



Direct Service Tribes Advisory Committee Quarterly Meeting

February 12 – 13, 2019

Arlington, VA



 FY 2021 National Budget Formulation Work Session
February 14 – 15, 2019

Crystal City, VA



Diabetes in Indian Country 2019 Conference

August 6 – 9, 2019

Oklahoma City, OK


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Community Health Aide Program (CHAP) Vacancies

In February 2018, with the announcement of CHAP expansion to Tribes beyond Alaska, a CHAP Advisory Committee was chartered.


Information on CHAP and on its Advisory Committee, including vacant positions, is available on the CHAP


Top Story
Federal District Judge Rules Affordable Care Act Unconstitutional

On Friday December 14, 2018, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas, Reed O’Connor, ruled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148) to be unconstitutional after twenty states filed lawsuits in February 2018 arguing that the entire law was invalidated after congress repealed the individual mandate to purchase health insurance.

In his 55-page decision in Texas V. United States, Judge O’Connor determined that because the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that the constitutionality of the ACA was predicated on congress’ exercise of its taxing power, elimination of the tax renders the entire legislation unconstitutional.

It is important to note that Judge O’Connor’s ruling did not include an injunction – meaning that the ACA (including the Indian Health Care Improvement Act which was passed as part of the ACA) remains the law of the land until further decisions are made by an Appeals Court or the U.S. Supreme Court. Defendants in the lawsuit have vowed to challenge the district judge’s ruling in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals – a move that will likely keep the national spotlight on the healthcare law well into the 2020 presidential election cycle.

In This Issue:



Federal District Judge Rules Affordable Care Act Unconstitutional



Please Join Us in Creating National Indian Health Board’s 2019 Legislative & Policy Agenda!

Tell Your Special Diabetes Program for Indians Story

NIHB Joins Combined Federal Campaign



Congress Nears Budget Deadline

Senate Passes Resolution Commemorating ICWA’s Passage 40 Years Ago



Zinke Resigns as Interior Secretary

CBO Deficit Reduction Plan

IHS Issues Dear Tribal Leader Letter on Behavioral Health Initiative Funding

HHS Issues RFI on Modifying HIPAA Rules to Improve Coordinated Care



TODAY December 18: TSGAC Webinar on Tribal Best Practices in Third-Party Revenue Generation

TODAY December 18: MMPC Monthly Meeting

December 20: U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Report Release & Conference call

January 10: Tribal Dental Therapy Advocates Call

February 14-15: FY 2021 National Budget Formulation Work Session

February 26-27: 12th Annual Medicaid Managed Care Summit



SAMHSA Announces New Funding Opportunities for Tribes

CDC Funding Opportunities

Funding Opportunity: CMS Announces MOM Model Funding to Improve Health for Mothers and Children with Opioid Use Disorder
HRSA Funding Opportunity: 2019 Health Center Controlled Networks

OMH Funding Opportunity: AI/AN Public Health Workforce

Resources Available to Tribes on Health Issues

Please Join Us in Creating the National Indian Health Board’s 2019 Legislative & Policy Agenda!

Every year, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) engages with Tribes and Tribal leaders to examine the political landscape to set forth an agenda that focuses on key priorities and topical areas that will require targeted efforts and concerted energy to advance throughout the year. This Legislative and Policy Agenda lays the path for NIHB’s work each year.

During meetings with Congress and the Administration, NIHB uses this agenda to advocate, with a unified voice, for the top priorities of the Tribes when it comes to health. The document allows NIHB to not only elevate the most important issues of the Tribes, but also track progress for Indian Health policy.


Some of the major successes from the 2018 Legislative and Policy Agenda include:

  • $50 million Tribal Set-aside for opioid grants in both FYs 2018 and 2019
  • 5% Tribal set-aside for opioid funding in the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (P.L. 115-271)
  • Continued increased funding for the Indian Health Service
  • $5 million increase for the Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country program in FY 2019
  • $10 million increase for Tribal Behavioral Health Grants in FY 2019
  • 2 year renewal of the Special Diabetes Program for Indians

Click here to view the full 2018 Legislative and Policy Agenda.


In the first quarter of next year, NIHB’s Board of Directors will develop the 2019 Legislative and Policy Agenda based on feedback from Indian Country. We urge you to submit your policy priorities for the Board’s consideration either to your regional board member or Member Organization or NIHB staff.


If you would like to submit recommendations directly to NIHB staff, please send your recommendations to Caitrin McCarron Shuy, NIHB Director of Congressional Relations at cshuy@nihb.org by January 4, 2019.

Tell Your Special Diabetes Program for Indians Story

To raise awareness of diabetes in Indian Country, the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is collecting local impact stories from diabetes care providers and Special Diabetes Program for Indians (SDPI) program participants. These stories will be featured on NIHB’s website, and may be used in future projects to educate on and support SDPI, including sharing stories with Members of Congress. With SDPI up for renewal by Congress in 2019, it is critical that we are able to collect as much information as possible about the success of this program. 


If you have participated in an SDPI program, and want to share your experience, click HERE to share your story.


If you are a diabetes care provider, and you want to share information about your SDPI program, including data, successes, challenges, and innovative ideas, click HERE to share your story.


View all local impact stories HERE.


For more information on SDPI and diabetes in Indian Country, click HERE.

Please contact Sarah Price, sprice@nihb.org with any questions.

NIHB Joins Combined Federal Campaign

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is an eligible recipient through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) which allows federal employees to make charitable contributions through payroll deduction to designated non-profit organizations.  NIHB is the premier, national, health advocacy organization focused solely on issues confronting federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes. If you are a federal employee, talk to your payroll administrator about donating to NIHB using CFC number 84221 Click here for more information on NIHB’s CFC campaign, and here for more information on the CFC as a federal effort.


If you are not able to participate in the CFC, please  Click here to donate to NIHB.

Congress Nears Budget Deadline

Congress has until Friday, December 21 to come to a funding agreement for part of the federal government, or several agencies will shutdown. This follows the President’s signing a two week extension in government funding to allow for more time for the White House and Congress to come to an agreement. A major point of disagreement is funding for a physical wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.   If funding is not passed into law, agencies that have not yet received funding for Fiscal Year 2019 will shutdown. This includes the Indian Health Service; however, the agency’s shutdown staffing plan indicates that IHS medical providers will continue to work during the shutdown.   The Labor-HHS funding bill, which funds the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) but not the IHS, has already been signed into law, so public health programs operating in Indian Country within HHS will not be disrupted by a potential shutdown.

Last modified: June 28, 2021