Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

  Mark Trahant / Indian Country Today Paul Ryan came to Washington to blow up Washington. He was first elected to represent his Wisconsin district at 28 years old. He campaigned over his career for a federal government that should shrink dramatically, spend far less, that taxes should be low, and the Republicans should be …

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Indian Health, Bureau of Indian Affairs see a budget increase Mark Trahant / Indian Country Today The federal government’s newly enacted budget is a massive “omnibus” act that spends $1.3 trillion and makes some members of Congress pleased and others angry. It’s a document that reflects a broken budget system. And, at the same time, …

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  Mark Trahant / Indian Country Today Congress did its job: The federal government’s budget is done. The last step was President Donald J. Trump’s signature and so now the government marches on. At least for the rest of this year, until the end of September. But the White House said Friday that the president …

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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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