Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports What qualifications are needed to manage (and possibly reform?) the Indian health system? It’s Indian Country’s largest employer with more than 15,000 on the payroll and many, many more people who work in health care for tribes, non-profits and other related agencies. The IHS budget is $6.1 billion. Yet it’s …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Congress has yet to reenact the Children’s Health Insurance Program and states will soon run out of funds to prop up the program. That will mean that thousands of American Indian and Alaska Native children will lose their health insurance. And, the result is the Indian Health Service will have …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Two serious debates in Washington right now: Climate change and taxes. These are connected. And the decisions made over the next few days and weeks will impact you and your children’s future. The federal government is required by law to publish a climate assessment. The report is out and it’s …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The chaos that is now Trump Care continues. First, Congress tried to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act by rolling back that law plus the decades long public health insurance known as Medicaid. That effort failed in the Senate. Twice. And Congress hasn’t given up. There are all sorts …

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Mark Trahant /Trahant Reports Here we go again: Congress is finding new ways to complicate health care. It really boils down to the philosophy that government-funded health care is just another word for welfare. So it’s a good thing to cut it back and limit it. The other side of that is that funding health …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Bernie Sanders is expected to introduce his version of health care reform, a plan he calls “Medicare for all.” At least fifteen Democrats have signed on as co-sponsors to the single-payer plan. “This is where the country has got to go,” Sanders told The Washington Post. “Right now, if we …

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A fundamental question about government Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The most fundamental question about government is this: Does it work? When does government — tribal, state or federal — actually make a difference in our lives? There are two ways to answer that question, data and story. Data tells what happens over time, a reference …

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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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