Today is Indigenous Peoples’ Day, also called Native American Day (SD) or Discoverers’ Day (HI), officially celebrated in 7 states instead of the euro-centric Columbus Day holiday. Other states simply do not observe Columbus Day, and a growing roster of cities and municipalities recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Nearly 6 million Americans are of Native American, Alaskan Native, or Native Hawaiian descent, comprising 657 recognized tribes plus Hawaiian Natives, still struggling for official recognition. Life expectancy averages 3-4 years below overall life expectancy in the United States. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, accidents, domestic violence, and suicide plague Native Americans. The Indian Health Service (IHS) is chronically underfunded, and historical trauma and discrimination exacerbate health care inequality and poor outcomes.
Access to quality physical and mental health care remains a problem, especially in rural areas. Medicare For All would guarantee health care to all people—especially currently under-served populations—as a right, through a more equitable and accessible single-payer program.
We call on Congress to honor Native American tribal treaty rights and sovereignty, invest resources in IHS health care facilities now, and prioritize federal funding for Native communities that lack access to quality schools, health care, and job opportunities. Long-term, we ask our elected officials to think big and bold, and they absolutely must implement system-changing policies including Medicare For All.
Progressive Democrats of America works with coalition partners inside and outside the Democratic Party to implement Medicare For All through legislation –HR 1384 sponsored by Rep. Pramila Jayapal and S 1129 sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders. Your generous contribution of $100, $50, $10, or $5 today will help us all achieve a healthier tomorrow.
PS: If you missed the latest PDA call/webinar on Medicare For All, click here.