Sen. Enzi is Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP).

I applaud the Senate for passing the "Indian Health Care Improvement Act," S. 1200, a bill that will move the country forward in the right direction to improve Indian health care programs.

For too long, we have neglected our duty to review the Indian health care program and ensure that it continues to deliver high quality health care efficiently. This bill is a critical step to renew and reinvigorate Indian health care services.

Indians face significant health care challenges, including higher rates of infant mortality, suicide, and diseases like diabetes, and a shortage of mental health professionals. This bill will begin to improve health care quality by ensuring that Indians have access to the health care services they need.

The Senate bill makes improvements to the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, which has not been updated in 15 years.  The original Act expired in 2000 and has been renewed at inadequate funding levels every year since then.

The bill, passed in the Senate today by an 83-10 vote, improves health care services for American Indians, authorizes mental and behavioral health care, and promotes disease prevention and substance abuse addiction treatment as well as improved physical health for American Indians. The bill also allows eligible American Indians to fully participate in Medicare and Medicaid.

Times have changed and so has health care. This bill brings Native American health care, services, and access up to speed with the rest of the nation.

I am pleased that much of the bill passed by the Senate includes provisions from the bipartisan bill I introduced in the last Congress with Senator John McCainJohn Sidney McCain The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Biden's debate performance renews questions of health At debate, Warren and Buttigieg tap idealism of Obama, FDR MORE (R-Ariz.), Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Senator Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann Murkowski The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Overnight Energy: Trump administration to repeal waterway protections| House votes to block drilling in Arctic refuge| Administration takes key step to open Alaskan refuge to drilling by end of year Overnight Health Care: Juul's lobbying efforts fall short as Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes | Facebook removes fact check from anti-abortion video after criticism | Poll: Most Democrats want presidential candidate who would build on ObamaCare MORE (R-Alaska).

I’m glad that we have moved forward on this legislation. I look forward to working with others to get this bill signed into law.