Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

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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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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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Congressional Budget Office report on the Senate majority’s health care bill — the ironically titled “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017” — ought to be enough to put to rest any idea that Republicans want to improve health care in this country. There are legitimate conservative ideas about how …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Senate bill, like its House counterpart, has a simple message for Indian Country: Don’t get sick. Not in June. Not anytime soon. This bill is not about health care because it takes billions from Medicaid and passes on that savings to wealthy Americans. How bad could it be? …

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    How to destroy the economy with 50 votes Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports I have been wondering what I should say about the Republican health care legislation in the Senate. We do know that there is a policy split among Senators about how much and how fast to cut Medicaid. We know the …

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Protecting Mother Earth and tribal homelands Trahant Reports President Donald J. Trump announced last week that the United States was pulling out of the Paris agreement on climate change. That agreement includes every country in the world except Nicaragua, Syria … and now the United States. The problems related to climate change are  enormous — …

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    Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Reality TV works for one simple reason: The antics of the characters are beyond what’s believable in fiction. It’s compelling drama because normal people do not do such things. So part of watching is to find out when the story arc ends, to discover when the situation becomes …

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Trahant Reports The flurry that is the Trump Administration continues to impact Indian Country in ways that are expected — as well as those that surprise. A nasty surprise at that. The latest offering is a presidential signing statement that targets federal programs that serve American Indians, Alaska Natives, as well as those that fund …

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