PASSED: O’Halleran Bill to Break Down Health Barriers for Tribes

June 23, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass  H.R. 3841, the Tribal Health Data Improvement Act, legislation introduced by Congressman Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-01) and Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-0K-02) to address chronic challenges faced by tribal nations and Tribal Epidemiology Centers in accessing federal health care and public health surveillance data systems—data they are entitled to by law.

“Tribal communities in Arizona suffered the very worst of COVID-19. As we continue to address this ongoing pandemic, it is critical that sovereign tribal nations are able to easily access the public health data they need to make the best decisions to keep their citizens safe and healthy,” said O’Halleran. “I’m thrilled to see our bill pass the House of Representatives, and I encourage the Senate to swiftly take up and pass this urgently-needed legislation.”

The Tribal Health Data Improvement Act requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to give direct access to all data related to health care and public health surveillance programs and services to tribal nations, the Indian Health Service, and Tribal Epidemiology Centers, and require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to give technical aid to tribes and Tribal Epidemiology Centers for improving health statistics.