Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

It’s impossible to defy gravity #NativePolicy Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Federal Indian programs have been added to the “high-risk” category by the Government Accountability Office. That designation could not come at a worse time. The details. This is how the GAO defines its high risk identification: “The federal government is one of the world’s largest …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Last year I expected a record number of Native Americans to get elected to offices across the country. There were just so many really superb candidates running for Congress, state legislatures, and statewide offices. At one point my list topped a hundred candidates. Of course it didn’t turn out that way. …

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  Price plan calls for Indian Health savings accounts Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports President-elect Donald Trump and Congress are moving quickly to reshape health care, including the Indian Health system. And so far the path looks to be chaotic. First, the who: The Trump administration will be led on health care issues by Tom …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports A few years ago I had a chance to ask President George Bush what he thought about tribal sovereignty in the 21st century. His answer went viral: “Tribal sovereignty means that. It’s sovereign. You’re a … you’re a … you’ve been given sovereignty and you’re viewed as a sovereign …

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Trahant Reports Rep. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, speaking on C-SPAN Friday morning, said any replacement of the Affordable Care Act should include keeping the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. Cole said this was included in Obamacare as an incentive for Democrats to support the measure. That’s an interesting interpretation. The reauthorization of the Indian Health Care …

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  Rethinking tribal policy at the state level Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Elections are about ideas. What should our world look like? How do tribal nations, Alaska Native corporations, and communities fit into the American experience? Elections are about tactics. Who runs? Are there resources? (And, when I say resources, I really mean, cash …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Thirteen days and counting. And the election issue once again is the Affordable Care Act. A report by the Department of Health and Human Services details the rising costs for individual policies. So after two years of moderate premium increases (2% for 2015 and 7.5% for 2016) premiums are going up …

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Mark Trahant / TrahantReports Vermont casts 22 votes for its senator, Bernie Sanders. A minute later, Sanders asks the rules be suspended and that Hillary Clinton be nominated by acclamation. And so the Bernie Sanders’ chapter comes to an end. The question is, “what’s next?” Let’s explore this from a couple of different points of view. …

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Mark Trahant / TrahantReports A couple of decades ago I had a chance to interview John Ehrlichman.  He had been recently released from prison for perjury and other Watergate-related crimes. We were talking about President Nixon’s American Indian and Alaska Native policies. He talked about some of the successes, some of the challenges, and then I asked …

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  Just one example of innovation from the Native health system Mark Trahant / TrahantReports In the news business, this would be a man bites dog story. That’s the idea that a narrative framework is the opposite of what’s supposed to be. The usual story is that Indian health programs are a disaster and only getting …

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