Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Senate Republicans campaigned against “Obamacare” for seven years. Yet there was never an alternative that had support from a majority of their own party. The problem is simple: Many (not all) Republicans see health care programs that help people — the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, etc. — as welfare. Others …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Today is humor day in the Senate. But at least the¬†healthcare debate will go on and on without a conclusion. And no matter what happens today and Friday there is still a long way to go. The Senate has at least ten more hours of official debate on a House …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Senate is now going through 20 hours of debate on a House Resolution 1628 to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. But the House bill was stripped of every word except the title. Now the idea is to come up with the right language to reach 50 votes …

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Senators say the darndest things … a few of their own words before the vote.Bottom line: no matter which version is the one to surface, there is no way to take $800 billion out of a health insurance system and make it stronger. Indian Country will suffer. I have written past posts about why this …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Here we go again. Another week and the United States Senate is ready to vote on legislation to remake the entire healthcare system, including Indian health. The Senate will do this without a draft circulated for debate, public hearings, or common sense. So what does the replacement bill look like …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Senate is broken. Republicans control 52 seats only part of the time. Enough votes to win a majority and pass a judicial nominee. But not enough votes to fix the healthcare legislation sent up by the House. Or, more important, not enough votes to govern. Watch that problem grow …

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Trahant Reports So the Senate (and therefore the House) plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, destroy Medicaid as we know it, and shell out billions in tax cuts for the wealthy is no more. Monday night Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran said they would vote against even debating the Senate …

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When every senator could be the 50th vote, any one absence means no healthcare bill Trahant Reports The Senate healthcare bill looked like it was going to pass on Friday. There were only two public no votes (when three are needed to defeat the measure.) And you¬†can only imagine how much pressure leadership was putting …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports It would be cool, just this once, if the Senate would say, “Indian Country you are so important. So we are adding a special provision to this health care bill that adds big bucks to the Indian Health Service.” Then Senators with significant American Indian or Alaska Native populations would …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports A Senate hearing Wednesday on Indian health illustrates the larger problem exactly: How can you strip millions of dollars from a health care system and get better results? The answer is you cannot. But that’s not what the Trump administration testified. And it’s not what the Senate leadership is saying …

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