Murkowski Welcomes IHS Payment to Alaska Native Healthcare Provider
Southcentral Foundation to Receive $96m Indian Health Service Payment
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski is applauding news that the Indian Health Service has reached an agreement with one of Alaska’s largest Native health care providers to pay the contract support costs IHS owes it. Southcentral Foundation President/CEO Katherine Gottlieb informed Murkowski yesterday that Acting Director of the Indian Health Service, Dr. Yvette Roubideaux, is agreeing to pay $96 million to SCF so the organization can continue to provide health care for Alaska Native and American Indian people.
"I am incredibly pleased by this announcement. Tribal self-determination can no longer be short-changed, after a hard fought victory by tribes. Southcentral Foundation will receive the funds owed by the Indian Health Service after years of being shortchanged on vital health costs.
“This agreement to settle up $96 million in obligations is a major step forward, but also a reminder that promises remain unkept nationwide. I will continue to press and advocate for our First People to receive the high quality medical care and treatment they are promised by America's trust responsibility to them."
Senator Lisa Murkowski has aggressively pushed back at the Obama administration’s continued refusal to fully fund the contract support costs for tribal health care providers nationwide, saying during a November hearing she is “incredulous that we are still living through this” fight.
Contract support costs are the operational costs of tribes to manage tribal health programs – including personal management systems, liability insurance, and facility support costs. In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled in the case Ramah vs Salazar that tribes should be fully compensated to for the operation of self-governance contracts in delivering the promises of the federal trust responsibility.