Indian Health:

Budgetary Effects of Indigent Indians' Medical Costs on Two Montana Counties

HRD-86-68FS: Published: Mar 31, 1986. Publicly Released: Apr 10, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO provided information on indigent Indians' medical care costs in two Montana counties to determine the: (1) costs that counties and local governments had incurred; and (2) amount of federal funds, if any, these governments had received for this purpose.

GAO found that: (1) under Montana state law, the county governments are responsible for providing medical care for the indigent; (2) property taxes have been the principal source of funds for indigent medical care in the two counties studied; (3) the counties received no federal funds for indigent medical care costs during fiscal years (FY) 1982 through 1985; (4) from FY 1984 through 1985, Blaine County spent $13,239, about 21 percent of its total indigent medical care costs, on medical care for Indians; (5) from FY 1982 through 1985, Blaine County's total indigent medical care costs equaled about 1 percent of its operating revenues; (6) from FY 1982 through 1985, Hill County spent $134,104, about 32 percent of its total indigent care expenditures, on care for Indians; and (7) Hill County spent about 2 percent of its total operating revenues on indigent medical care from FY 1982 through 1985.

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