Promises Promises …


Very poignant article in Yahoo news about how the federal government is failing to meet the needs of many patients in the Indian Health Services – and the disastrous effects the broken promises are having.

  • A five year old with stomach pain who stopped eating who visited the clinic ten times and was diagnosed with “depression.” Later the family discovered she had terminal cancer. She died at age six.
  • Another patient was given cough syrup for his congestive heart failure and sustained damage to his heart. He died while waiting for a transplant.
  • Another patient visited the clinic with stomach pains for 4 years and was diagnosed with possible tapeworms and stress. Later, she discovered she had metastatic cancer.
  • Yet another patient couldn’t get a prescription filled despite repeated trips to a clinic because of lack of appointments. She died before she was able to see the doctor.

Few doctors are willing to work in remote reservations, there is a lack of funding (some reservations warn “don’t get sick after June,” when the federal dollars run out), and care is rationed. In fact, one third more funding is provided for the health care of felons in federal prison than is provided for American Indians on reservations.

Then read this Yahoo news story about the massive budget cuts that are coming down the pike in the healthcare reform package.

Not too hard to connect the dots.


  1. I realize the main point is about the lack of funding for Native american reservations, but I want to rant about how pissed I am about the overspending on inmates. We do alot of contractual work for a federal medical facility and it’s ridiculous to waste tax dollars on std testing on inmates, or to waste tax dollars on lipid panels or A1C’s, if you can’t afford it on your own then the government has no responsibility. I think it’s all part of a social contract that we need to abide by, you fuck up, then you lose certain privledges associated with being a productive member of society. including anything but what would be required to keep someone breathing. Fuck cholesterol med, fuck all of it. Prison should be much more like the tent city in AZ, you should get about 1000 calories a day, regardless of what it is, and you should not recieve anything that costs the government tax payers one red cent.

  2. Well honestly I don’t think that budget cuts are going to turn America into India any time soon. It’s a different land with very different problems. The two aren’t really that comparable.

    • Crow Indians, not Asian Indians. The subjects of the article are on an Indian reservation in Montana. Native Americans. Geronimo. Chief Sitting Bull, not Mohandas Ghandi.

  3. “In fact, one third more funding is provided for the health care of felons in federal prison than is provided for American Indians on reservations.”

    This stat would be more meaningful if we knew how many felons were in prison v. how many Indians there are on reservations.

  4. Matt, if you read the article, it says one third more spent for prisons per capita. WhiteCoat just didn’t get that part in.

  5. Yes statisitics are very important when we are comparing health care between felons and a group of people we stole land from, lied to, broke treaties and gave them token pieces of land that had nothing to do with their heritage and then throw them a bone disguised as “healthcare”.
    Don’t want to muddy these waters till we all have the “facts”.

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