While the 2023 Fiscal Year President’s Budget shows a historic investment in Indian Health Service, a work group concluded that the agency would need five times as much money to be adequately funded.
Indian Health Service (IHS) is a federal agency responsible for providing health care for all federally recognized tribes. The agency has long been criticized for being chronically underfunded.
IHS served 1.7 million people nationwide in 2021. In Montana, IHS served 80,468 people. The report states that past funding for the agency addressed an estimated 48.6% of the health care needs for the population it serves.
The 2023 Fiscal Year President’s Budget proposes $9.3 billion allocated to IHS. In 2022, the budget appropriation for IHS was $6.8 billion. In 2016, the budget was just under $5 billion.
The 2023 budget proposes to increase IHS’ funding to $36.7 billion by 2032.
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According to the report, “additional funding is long overdue.” A tribal budget formulation work group in 2021, comprised of tribal leaders nationwide, concluded that $49.9 billion was the actual amount needed in Fiscal Year 2023 to adequately fund IHS.
In a 2020 budget request,