Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Budgets are statements: This is what “we” care about.  It’s money that reveals priorities. The “we” could be, and ought to be, the country. Or the “we” could be a presidential administration that’s not really equipped to govern. So there will be lots of stories this year, like last year, …

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Updated Sunday. Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The government is in its official shut down mode. And it’s a fight that has been brewing for a long time. It’s complicated because there are several different congressional factions, think of them as mini-political parties, that have different goals. Remember this: The Republicans are in charge. This process …

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  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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Why Indian Country should have a voice in this debate Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports There is no better way for any legislature — be it a tribal council, a state assembly, or a Congress — to telegraph what’s most important to a society than through tax policy. How a government collects revenue says what …

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Updated. Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Here we go again. The Congress is hell bent on wrecking the Affordable Care Act. This time the mechanism is the so-called tax reform bill that will be voted in the U.S. Senate. The logic is rich (and, yes, “rich” is absolutely the right word and sentiment) because this …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports A year ago ballots from across the country were being examined by citizens, journalists, and politicians, who were all wondering, “What the hell just happened?” The nation woke up to a President-elect Donald J. Trump. And this morning? The Trump brand is like an overpriced hotel where you would never, …

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  A corrupted word, a corrupted government Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports   Let’s play with a word and an idea. “Hegemony” means the dominance of one political group over all others. That, at this moment, is the Republican brand. President Donald J. Trump, a Republican Senate, a Republican House, and a conservative, if not …

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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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