Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law - University of Tulsa College of Law
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Health | Opinion
Mark Trahant: Indian businesses and health care


"My family and I walked around the flea market here Saturday. I’ve always thought this is the ideal representation of unabashed capitalism. It was hot, dusty and there were hundreds of booths and thousands of people buying and selling a remarkable range of goods, animals and services.

On one hand there are the types of items you’d find at any flea market: Used car parts, clothes, and carnival-quality toys. But add to that mix native foods such as Acoma bread, mutton stew or dried corn; plus traditional products such as mountain tobacco, Navajo and Pueblo jewelry, live sheep and horses, and CD’s loaded with musical selections from traditional to Rez-style Hip Hop.

Gallup may be a tourist town, but not many travelers venture from I-40 into the hot summer market. That’s too bad – they’d find great bargains, but it’s a lot easier to buy Indian jewelry from a modern air-conditioned trading post. No, this market is directed at primarily Navajo and Zuni customers, local people serving local people. That, to me, is the essence of small business.

Yet I don’t suspect the family selling pinion nuts is thought about as a small business in the context of health care reform. Small businesses are viewed as much bigger enterprises, for example a construction company with a dozen or so employees."

Get the Story:
Insurance for the family selling pinions (Mark Trahant 7/27)

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