American Indian Health Groups Oppose Some Health Funding Cuts Included in FY 2004-2005 State Budget Proposal
An alliance of five American Indian health care advocacy groups recently launched a $400,000 campaign to lobby state and federal legislators not to reduce funding for Indian health clinics in the fiscal year 2004-2005 state budget, the AP/Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports. The groups -- including Action for Indian Health Campaign, California Indian Manpower Consortium, Capitol Area Indian Resources, Inter-Tribal Council of California and the Sacramento Urban Indian Health Project -- rallied at the Capitol on Wednesday to protest a proposed $2.7 million reduction in funding that would eliminate substance abuse and mental health services provided by CalWORKS to 36 Indian Health Clinics, a proposed $30.5 million funding cut in tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and plans to restructure Medi-Cal.
James Crouch, executive director of the California Rural Indian Health Board, said, "There's a misconception that all the tribes are gaming rich and all the Indian communities are no longer in need of health and social services," adding, "The majority of us are poor. Medi-Cal is one of the most important programs for poor people to receive health care." Finance Department spokesperson H.D. Palmer said that despite the proposed $2.7 million CalWORKS cut, tribe members still would be able to access substance abuse or mental health services through county welfare programs, the AP/Press Democrat reports (Thompson, AP/Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 6/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.