Legislature sends tribal health bill to Governor Burgum

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BISMARCK, N.D. - A bill to give tribes more money for health care costs is heading to the governor's desk.

If tribes enter what's called care coordination agreements with medical providers, the state saves about $7.4 million which will be split 60-40 in the tribes' favor. But this is lower than what they initially wanted.

This difference could affect whether tribes decide to buy in.

“If the tribes aren't going to be involved, then how can it be a win if they're not involved. It's kind of unknown yet whether it's a win or not. But to have something pass is better than to not pass it, nothing at all,” said Brad Hawk, Indian Health System Administrator with the ND Indian Affairs Commission.

Hawk is hopeful tribes will buy in and look to expand the money in future sessions.