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 McCainMeghan McCain says Steyer should drop out: 'I hate that guy' Sanders says idea he can't work with Republicans is 'total nonsense' GOP casts Sanders as 2020 boogeyman MORE (R-Ariz.), Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Senator Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response | Top official warns virus appears inevitable in US | Democrats block two Senate abortion bills Overnight Energy: Critics pile on Trump plan to roll back major environmental law | Pick for Interior No. 2 official confirmed | JPMorgan Chase to stop loans for fossil fuel drilling in the Arctic MacGregor confirmed as Interior deputy chief 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.