New Biden administration rule removes burden to aid development of tribal child assistance programs

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Letter to the COVID-19 therapeutics manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies and health care payer community.

Eliminates the burdensome cost of administering a program for tribes

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration's U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a final rule to eliminate the burdensome cost sharing requirement for Tribal child assistance programs through the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). The new rule is consistent with President Biden's recent executive order Improving federal funding and support for Tribal Nations to better embrace our trust responsibilities and foster the next era of tribal self-determination. And it's part of a Biden administration effort to more effectively support tribal governments. This rule reduces red tape and improves the flexibility and access of Federal funding so that Tribes can grow their economies and provide vital and innovative services to their citizens.

“The Biden-Harris Administration has worked hard to eliminate costs and barriers for tribes,” said HHS Secretary Will make it expensive.” “This is part of respecting tribal sovereignty and the trust relationship between the federal government and tribal nations – eliminating red tape and removing barriers for tribal governments to serve their people. Making federal resources more accessible. “helps and plays an important role in growing tribal economies. Innovative services are within everyone's reach.”

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“ACF recognizes tribal sovereignty and is committed to strengthening our government-to-government relationships with tribes to support the well-being of Native American children and families,” said ACF Acting Assistant Secretary Jeff Hild. “This rule makes it easier for tribes to serve their children and families through programs that are consistent with their histories, values ​​and cultures.”

Tribal governments have fewer revenue-generating options than state governments, and they have consistently shared that the non-Federal share requirement is a burden to administer their own child support programs. In fact, only 61 of the 574 federally recognized tribes in the United States operate tribal child assistance programs. Eliminating this cost-sharing requirement for the Tribal Child Assistance Program will help Tribes administer the program for their communities.

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Tribes have shown success in administering their own programs. In FY 2022, tribal child support programs collected $51 million in child support payments, including $10 million collected on behalf of another tribe, state, or country. Of Native American children in child support programs in tribal areas, 53 percent live in single-parent families.

“I am so fortunate to learn from vibrant Tribal communities, their dedicated Child Support Directors, and Tribal leaders and staff during site visits and conferences,” said ACF Office of the Child Support Services Commissioner Tangular Gray. “We have heard their feedback loud and clear, and are doing what we can to remove the unnecessary burden on them to administer their own programs. This rule does just that, and will protect existing and new “Will make it easier to access funding for tribal child support programs. This is needed to improve outcomes for children and families.”

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The rule also promotes equality and respects tribal sovereignty and the trust relationship between the Federal Government and Tribal Nations. The purpose behind the Trust Principle is and always has been to ensure the survival and welfare of the Indian tribes and people. It includes the obligation to provide services necessary to protect and enhance tribal lands, resources, and self-governance, and includes economic and social programs necessary to raise the standard of living and social welfare of native peoples.

Patrice H. Kunesh, Commissioner of the ACF Administration for Native Americans and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Native American Affairs, said, “I am proud of our tribal partnerships and how this rule works to improve equity and reduce systemic barriers to services. Is.” “The Administration for Children and Families will continue to support social and economic development in a way that provides the greatest possible self-determination to Tribal Nations.”

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