House Passes Gallego Bill to Ensure Timely, Accessible Health Care for Native American Veterans
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, H.R. 6237, the PRC for Native Veterans Act introduced by Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) and Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), passed the House of Representatives by voice vote. The PRC for Native Veterans Act would require the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to reimburse the Indian Health Service (IHS) and Tribally-run health facilities for purchased and referred care (PRC) used for Native American veterans.
H.R. 6237 clarifies that VHA is responsible for reimbursing not only direct care to Native veterans provided by a Tribe or IHS, which is current policy, but specialty and contract care provided through a Tribe or IHS. Reimbursing IHS and Tribes for PRC is absolutely vital in making sure Native veterans have timely, affordable access to the care they need, especially during a pandemic that has disproportionately impacted Native American communities.
Rep. Gallego, Chairman of the House Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the U.S., made the following statement:
“Native American communities have an incredible history of service to our nation, having fought for America in every war since the American Revolution. In return, it is long past time we keep our promise to Native veterans by ensuring they have access to the timely, high-quality health care that they are owed both as Tribal members and as American heroes. That is why I am proud to see the PRC for Native Veterans Act pass the House today. I look forward to the Senate taking swift action to ensure this bipartisan, commonsense policy is signed into law this year.”