Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

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 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 I am not sure of the exact year. It probably happened around 1996. That’s when the Indian Health Service became the single largest employer in Indian Country. This makes sense when you think about it: Indian health was once a small (unappreciated) division of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. …

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Senate bill ‘mostly dead,’ but will it revive after break? Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Senate’s health care bill is “mostly dead.” But that’s not the same as all dead. And this holiday weekend will decide either the legislation has a second life or if there is a better way to proceed. Republican Senate …

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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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    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 Speaker Paul Ryan said House Republicans are close to a deal that would allow them to pass the American Health Care Act. He says this is because of “improvements” suggested by President Donald J. Trump. Let’s be clear about these so-called improvements: The bill would still wipe out Medicaid as we know it. Medicaid …

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Governing without a working majority   Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports President Donald J. Trump’s legislative agenda has crashed. The Republican promise to quickly repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Friday failed to win enough votes from conservatives to make it so. As House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a post-failure news conference: “Obamacare …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The story of Alaska and Montana is not front and center in the health care debate in the House today. But it should be. Montana does not get a vote. (The state does not currently have a member of Congress after former Rep. Ryan Zinke was confirmed as Secretary of …

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