Universal health care has existed in the United States since before there was a United States. In 1787, two years before ratification of the Constitution, Congress began promising Indians free health care if they agreed to live on a reservation. In 1849, the service was transferred from the War Department to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and in 1955, Congress spun it off as the Indian Health Service. Unlike Medicaid or Medicare, which serve as health insurance for the poor, the disabled, and the old, the Indian service operates its own separate facilities instead of using private sector hospitals and clinics. It has 33 hospitals, 59 health centers, 50 health stations, and 34 urban Indian health projects -- just like the VA.
With much the same results.
From NBC News:
One woman died after she was left on the floor of her hospital room, overdosed by poorly trained staff.
Others died in ambulances on long journeys to emergency rooms because local facilities were closed for being such a mess.
Witness after witness at a Senate hearing Wednesday begged the federal government to properly fund the neglected Indian Health Service, and even government officials in charge of the service said they were struggling to get the resources they need.
"What we've found is simply horrifying and unacceptable. In my view, the information provided to this committee and witness first hand can be summed up in one word: malpractice," Wyoming Republican Senator John Barrasso, who chairs the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.
"The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services — another agency within the Department of Health and Human Services — has confirmed not only that these same problems continue to fester, but that they pose immediate risk to patient safety," Barrasso added.
"In fact, they have led to multiple patient deaths."
One of those deaths was Debra Free, who died in the Winnebago Hospital in northeastern Nebraska in 2011.
"Since at least 2007, this IHS facility has been operating with demonstrated deficiencies which should not exist at any hospital in the United States," Free's niece, Victoria Kitcheyan, told the committee.Funding is not the problem. Government is. For more than 200 years, the U.S. government has been speaking with forked tongues to the Indians. I am sure there are many dedicated people in the system, but they serve at the whims of a government in Washington that is now of the government, by the government and for the government.
Bernie Sanders wants to give everyone the Indian Health Service.
You are a fool if you do not think he can win in November.