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May 17th, 2023
Rep. Grijalva Calls for Urgent and Comprehensive Response to Systemic Abuse of Indigenous Peoples and Massive Health Care Fraud

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representative Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07) issued a statement following Arizona’s announcement to cut off funding to over 100 fraudulent medical group homes taking advantage of tribal communities and defrauding Arizona of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding.

“This news is a historic, egregious perpetration of systemic abuse and exploitation of Indigenous Peoples. Failure to address this ongoing health care fraud crisis is unconscionable and has enabled predators to profit off appalling, potentially brutal treatment of Native populations with health disparities. The stories shared of those who have fallen victim to these fake centers are horrifying and shocking.”

“The recent actions taken by Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, Attorney General Kris Mayes and AHCCCS Director Carmen Heredia to end this abject failure of our health care system are welcome news, and we must ensure this never happens again. I urge the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General to engage in urgently needed oversight to systematically examine Medicaid direct billings of similar operations across the country. I applaud the involvement of the Federal Bureau of Investigations and Department of Justice and will work to ensure a full government response.”  

“As we address this critical issue, we must work to ban predatory halfway houses and treatment centers and provide stricter regulation and oversight to guarantee the safety of people and patients. I look forward to collaborating with Governor Hobbs, Attorney General Mayes and AHCCCS Director Heredia to champion federal changes necessary to make certain that we stop the exploitation of communities with health inequities, fully prosecute those individuals responsible and provide needed resources for the harmed communities to recover.”

Rep. Grijalva is Ranking Member of the House Committee on Natural Resources which has jurisdiction over measures relating American Indians, Alaska Natives and the federal trust responsibility. Additionally, he is the sponsor of the Justice is Not for Sale Act which prohibits private for-profit entities from operating confinement facilities, treatment centers and halfway houses for certain populations.

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