In American Indian and Alaskan Native (AI/AN) communities across the United States, the issues of health care access and affordability pose significant challenges. While Indian Health Services (IHS) is tasked to provide health care services to the community, its facilities have endured longstanding criticism of inadequate funding, poor quality of care, and cultural insensitivity. Additionally, according to 2019 Census data, AI/AN populations continue to have the highest uninsured rates. Despite the presence of federal programs such as IHS and provisions from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the current health care system fails to meet the complete medical needs of these communities and may leave many families with the burden of medical debt. Curbing the risk of medical debt in the AI/AN community involves improving access to quality, affordable, and culturally sensitive services.
Let’s unite for health justice. Together, we’ll work toward a more just and equitable health system.