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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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The November election seems far off. It’s almost a year away, right? Sorry. Elections are a series of steps that lead to that moment when ballots are actually counted.  And for the #NativeVote18 candidates some of those early steps are real tests. And in Minnesota one of those critical test …

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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 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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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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Trahant Reports Tom Price, M.D., visits Indian Country. He goes to Alaska. He goes to Oklahoma. He says nice things. (He didn’t have the time to really translate that into policy or funding.) And now he’s gone after excessive use of government and chartered air craft. Dr. Price was the Secretary of Health and Human …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports You have to wonder why the latest Senate Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act did not get written with one senator in mind, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Yet the bill by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) is more conservative than previous approaches. It …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports Indian Country Today, a national voice for Indian Country, went dark while its owners look for a new buyer or a new business model. The “press,” even a “digital press” is the story. It’s true that most tribal leaders have been annoyed by media, including tribal media, from time to …

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Trahant Reports The September Mess has started early. Congress will return to Washington next week facing some really tricky issues ranging from an increase in the debt limit to spending money so that the federal government can operate. President Donald J. Trump in Phoenix raised the stakes, saying he would favor a shutdown of the …

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One-party government? Get real. Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports September is going to be a mess. Congress must sort out some really complicated fiscal issues. There is the budget, an increase in the debt limit, how much to spend on federal programs and services, and, if there’s time, tax reform. This should be easy in …

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