Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Budget targets $246 million below last year’s committee levels, says Democrat on House Interior Appropriations MARK TRAHANT / TRAHANTREPORTS.COM House and Senate negotiators have reached a deal on a budget resolution. That agreement then would go to each House for a vote. (An outcome that is not certain.) But, if it passes, it would be …

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Montanans love to talk about how special our state is. For those from some place other than Montana, you may think that we mean our beautiful mountains, the vast golden prairies, and incredible blue sky that never seems to end. And you would be right – we do mean that. But what really makes Montana …

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MARK TRAHANT Montana will be the next state to expand Medicaid. Gov. Steve Bullock is expected to sign the bill authorizing expansion into law on Wednesday at noon. Remember this is a Republican-controlled legislature — so I think it demonstrates that when people really look at the numbers, the number of jobs, the number of …

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Investment in Native youth equals a million lines of code MARK TRAHANT No child grows up hearing — or asking — for numbers. Instead the four words, “tell me a story,” are the ones deeply embedded into our human software. And that will never change. But the power of numbers, the importance of data, is …

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A few posts I am working on. Piece about how we measure should be up later today. (Also note about massive data project I am working on, a history of appropriations for Indian Country.)   

Millions of Montanans, Alaskans and Native Americans wait for health insurance MARK TRAHANT The best case for Medicaid expansion in Alaska is being delivered by Valerie Davidson. She’s the recently appointed Commissioner of Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services and a longtime advocate for improving Native health, most recently the senior director of Legal …

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Fight for Indian health funding is at critical juncture MARK TRAHANT One of Indian Country’s most important debates about increasing funding for the Indian health system is occurring far from Congress in state legislatures across the country. And that is unfamiliar ground to discussions about Indian health and treaty obligations. The Affordable Care Act — …

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Key point: Medicaid expansion fabulous for Indian health system, Wash 38% revenue increase. Shows why expansion critical in Alaska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Montana. Building at least one interactive map to show data, a map of Washington with reservation by reservation numbers. Average across Washington is a 38 percent increase in revenue from Medicaid. Telling the …

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MARK TRAHANT Could we be nearing the moment to really address climate change? A quick answer is “no.” Of course not. The Republicans in Congress are hell-bent on pretending that climate change does not exist let alone agree to any shifts in policy. So they continue to fight for the approval of the Keystone XL …

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