October 27th, 2008
The Indian Health Care Improvement Act failed to be reauthorized again this year.
Some “Native leaders [are] saying that fault partially lies with the political decision-making of the National Congress of American Indians. . . .
As Indian Country Today previously reported, the reauthorization, which passed the Senate in February, largely failed to make headway in the House of Representatives due to anti-abortion language added to the bill by Sen. David Vitter, R-La. His amendment forbade the use of federal funds to pay for abortions under the reauthorization.
One lobbyist familiar with the situation, said he believes the biggest strategic error on behalf of NCAI and its lobbyists was not realizing that Democratic supporters would not take a stand against pro-lifers to encourage the billâ€™s passage. . . .
Given that backdrop â€“ and the hindsight of the billâ€™s lack of progress â€“ some tribal advocates are now saying that NCAI officials failed to anticipate the vast problem the Vitter amendment would pose, and should have worked harder with congressional allies to ultimately get that language quashed, so as not to become a sticking point in the House.”
Get the entire story.