Redeeming Hollow Promises: The Case for Mandatory Spending on Health Care for American Indians and Alaska Natives
Westmoreland, Timothy M.
Watson, Kathryn R.
American Journal of Public Health 2006 April; 96(4): 600-605
The reliance on discretionary spending for American Indian/ Alaska Native health care has produced a system that is insufficient and unreliable and is associated with ongoing health disparities. Moreover, the gap between mandatory spending on a Medicare beneficiary and discretionary spending on an American Indian/Alaska Native beneficiary has grown dramatically, thus compounding the problem. The budget classification for American Indian/Alaska Native health services should be changed, and health care delivery to this population should be designated as mandatory spending. If a correct structure is in place, mandatory spending is more likely to provide adequate funding that keeps pace with changes in costs and need.
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