Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law - University of Tulsa College of Law
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Health | Politics
Commentary: Gov. Palin's family eligible for IHS


"When Gov. Sarah Palin said during the vice presidential debate Thursday that her family has gone through periods where they’ve been uninsured and she understands what it’s like for Americans “to sit around the kitchen table and try to figure out how are they going to pay out-of-pocket for health care,” she forgot to mention something.

Unlike the vast majority of Americans, her husband and children had a good chance of qualifying for free, federally funded, comprehensive health care under a program of the Dept. of Health and Human Services’ Indian Health Service.

The governor’s husband, Todd Palin, traces his Yup’ik ancestry to his maternal grandmother. Sarah Palin routinely mentions her husband’s background at public appearances, and did this regularly when she ran for governor in 2006. At the time, the issue painted her in a positive light with the Native Alaskan voting bloc.

Todd is a lifelong fisherman. Bristol Bay fishing rights must be bought or inherited in Alaska. In Palin’s case, he says he bought his fishing spot from his grandfather in the 1970s. He also inherited shares in two native Alaska corporations. These shares can only be passed from one blood relative to another. Private citizens cannot purchase them.

Todd Palin’s ancestry grants another plus — it makes him and his children eligible to apply for free government health care."

Get the Story:
Laura McGann: Palin Family Could Apply for Free Federal Health Care (The Washington Independent 10/7)

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