Government , Health

Osage Congress approves $4.5 million for health benefit for elders

In the first of several approved appropriation bills during the Tzi-Zho Session, the Sixth Osage Nation Congress passed a $4.5 million appropriation bill to fund the health benefit fund for direct assistance to Osage elders.

On Sept. 10, the Congress voted 11-0 to pass ONCA 19-61 (sponsored by Congresswoman Shannon Edwards) to authorize and appropriate the $4.5 million for the direct assistance available to enrolled Osages who are age 65 and greater. The following day, Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear signed the bill into law.

According to the bill, the $4.5 million replenishes the Nation’s health benefit fund for the elder direct assistance, which included the $1,000 annual health benefit or the Medigap insurance Plan F or Plan D premiums. The bill passed unanimously with one absence that day from Congressional Speaker Joe Tillman.

Also on Sept. 10, the Congress passed bill ONCA 19-67 (sponsored by Tillman), which appropriated $175,000 to the ON Ranch LLC to build bison fencing at the Nation-owned property southwest of Pawhuska. The bill passed unanimously that day with Second Speaker Paula Stabler presiding while Tillman was absent.

On Sept. 9, the Congress unanimously passed resolution ONCR 19-20 (Congresswoman Angela Pratt), which is a resolution to authorize a limited waiver of sovereign immunity from suit and a consent to jurisdiction to Pharmacy Providers of Oklahoma for pharmaceutical distribution services and pharmacy administrative organization services at the Wah-Zha-Zhi Health Center.

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