Video: Treaty or Not? The Affordable Care Act & Indian Country Ep. 1

Mark Trahant

Journalist and speaker, Mark Trahant, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, recently released a five part series of videos taking a closer look at the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and Indian country.

In the first episode, Trahant draws attention to the issue of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act being stuck in Congress for nearly 20 years.

As President Barack Obama brought health care reform to the main stage with his law it represented a time for tribes to be included in the conversation.

One reason the Affordable Care Act, according to National Congress of American Indians Executive Director Jaqueline Peta, is “very good” for Indian country.

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Robbie Ironstar's picture
Robbie Ironstar
Submitted by Robbie Ironstar on
Although I am 4/4 Teton Lakota Sioux from South Dakota, it appears the screening questions asked to streamline your response seems to be NOT working. The question that asks if you are a member of a Federally Recognized U.S. Tribe and I response to "yes" then the system tells me to stop the registration process because I am a member of Federally Recognized Tribe but then in reality, I don't qualify because I do not reside on the reservation nor does any of my medical bills are except from being paid. I am then caught in a grey area that is unique to those of us that require insurance but live off-reservation and have been since the Relocation Program of the 1950s. The so-called Urban Indian Health Care program, found in only 39+ cities nationwide, does not have an organized program that I qualify for and is incomplete covered that won't cover drugs, Emergency care, hospitalization, nor dental and specialists/surgeons. I've worked my whole life in the cities along with my children, grandchildren and so forth and so on. The question posed on the screening process does not clarify if you are "on- nor Off- Reservation. This is a really big item for the Native Americans across America due to the fact 50%+ of all enrolled tribal members reside off-reservation. This question needs to be reworded so there a distinction of the two. As long as you are a enrolled member, you have access to complete coverage residing full time on the reservation. Those of us who have resided off-reservation for a couple of generations do have the same inaccessiblity equal to those Americans caught in the same Catch 22, This correction should be immediately due to the enrollment date deadline fast approaching.