March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law a comprehensive health care
reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA; P.L.
111-148). Among its provisions, the ACA reenacts, amends, and permanently
reauthorizes the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA). IHCIA
authorizes many specific Indian Health Service (IHS) activities, sets out the national
policy for health services administered to Indians, and sets health condition
goals for the IHS service population to reduce “the prevalence and
incidence of preventable illnesses among, and unnecessary and premature
deaths of, Indians.” The reauthorization of IHCIA in the ACA amends the
IHCIA to, among other changes, expand programs that seek to augment the IHS health
care workforce, increase the amount and type of services available at facilities
funded by the IHS, and increase the number and type of programs that
provide behavioral health and substance abuse treatment to American
Indians and Alaska Natives.
This report provides a brief overview of IHCIA and summarizes the provisions of
the Indian Health Care Improvement Reauthorization and Extension Act of
2009 as reported by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and as enacted
and amended by Section 10221 of the ACA. Appendix A presents a
timeline of the deadlines included in the act. Another report, CRS Report R41152,
Indian Health Care: Impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), by Elayne
J. Heisler, summarizes the major changes made by the ACA to IHCIA and
other provisions in the ACA that may affect IHS and American Indian and
Alaska Native health and their access to health care.
Date of Report: December 14, 2012
Number of Pages: 47 Order Number: R41630 Price: $29.95
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