Grassley questions tribal provision in health bill

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, questioned a provision in America's Healthy Future Act puts tribes on equal footing with states.

Under the Children‘s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009, state governments can determine eligibility for certain health benefits like Medicaid and CHIP. The America's Healthy Future Act allows tribes, tribal organizations and urban Indian health organizations to do the same.

But Grassley said tribes shouldn't be treated the same as states because they might enroll illegal immigrants in health programs. "As we have discussed in this committee in the past, the role of Indian tribes in verifying citizenship has been questionable," he said yesterday.

The provision is found in Part X of America's Healthy Future Act. Documents about the bill can be found at

The committee will resume consideration of the bill at 9:30am this morning. The hearing will be webcast.

Get the Story:
Opening Statement of Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) (Senate Finance Committee 9/22)
Lines Drawn as Senate Panel Begins Debating Health Bill (The Washington Post 9/23)
Parties Clash on Long-Awaited Day for Health Bill (The New York Times 9/23)
G.O.P. Senator Draws Critics in Both Parties (The New York Times 9/23)

Related Stories:
Health reform bill includes tribal tax exemption (9/22)
Video: Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing (9/18)
Mark Trahant: Taxation of tribal health benefits (9/21)
Senate Indian Affairs hearing moved to Friday (9/17)
Witness list for hearing on tribes and tax issue (9/16)
Indian Affairs Committee hearing on tax issue (9/14)

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