Indian Country politics and public policy

Commentary by Mark Trahant

Agency Says Indian Health Should Not Be Exempt From Medicaid Work Rules Because They Are ‘Race-Based’ Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Trump administration is supporting a major policy shift on Indian health programs which could result in a loss of millions of dollars and sabotage treaty rights. A story in Politico Sunday raised the …

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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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  Cross posted on Indian Country Today. Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports A special election in Pennsylvania is a good sign for Native American #NativeVote18 candidates running for office. Why? Because this cycle is already favoring out-of-power Democrats and, quite possibly, independents. It’s hard to peg any constituent group more out-of-power than those who would …

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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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The state of democratic institutions Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports I skipped watching the State of the Union last night. That was the first time in, well, a couple of decades. There was really no reason to watch. I figured President Donald J. Trump would set out to be presidential in tone, but his words …

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Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The Trump administration, and its allies in Congress, are fighting a losing war. They continue to press forward for the development of oil, gas, coal, when the rest of the world understands the implication of that folly. Global warming is the most pressing issue for our time. Period. The thing is …

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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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Correction: The chart I originally published was misleading. The CBO score for the tax bill (and most of the other measures) looks at the cost over ten years. Appropriations are made in a single year. So that made the tax bill appear more costly in visual form. I am working on a new version now, …

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  Mark Trahant / Trahant Reports The first year of the Trump era has been challenging: The administration and the Congress sought to repeal the Affordable Care Act and radically redesign one of the nation’s best public health insurance programs, Medicaid. That plan failed.  And I’ll come back to that point shortly. But first: Congress …

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