O’Halleran, Mullin Introduce Bill to Break Down Health Data Barriers for Tribes
WASHINGTON— Today, during a Pro Forma session of Congress, Representatives Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-01) Markwayne Mullin (R-OK-02) introduced the Tribal Health Data Improvement Act. The bill would reaffirm Tribal public health authorities are entitled to access public health data.
“Arizona tribal communities suffered the very worst of COVID-19. Now, more than ever, it is critical that they have access to all data related to health care and public health surveillance programs,” said O’Halleran. “The Tribal Health Data Improvement Act ensures that sovereign tribal nations will have the data they are entitled to by law to make the best decisions to keep their citizens safe.”
“Our sovereign Tribal Nations and Tribal Epidemiology Centers were always supposed to have equal access to public health data as states, counties, and cities. But for years, many Tribes have faced many challenges while trying to access this public health data,” said Mullin. “The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of equal access to this data in order for Tribes to make decisions for their communities, and the Tribal Health Data Improvement Act makes that happen.”
The Tribal Health Data Improvement Act passed the House last Congress by a voice vote but was not taken up by the Senate.