Northern Arapaho Tribe files appeal in Affordable Care Act case

A view of the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, home to the Northern Arapaho Tribe. Photo from Facebook

The Northern Arapaho Tribe of Wyoming is appealing a decision in an Affordable Care Act case that has implications throughout Indian Country.

The large employer mandate applies to any entity with more than 50 full-time employees. Those that fail to provide health coverage to their workers face fines, a situation the tribe contends is unfair to employees, most of whom are Native American.

“The Northern Arapaho Tribe does not believe that Congress intended to harm working-class Indian people in the Affordable Care Act,” Chairman Dean Goggles told The Daily Signal.

Northern Arapaho employees have been purchasing coverage through and the tribe has been subsidizing some of the costs. But that arrangement will no longer be allowed if the ruling issued in July isn't overturned by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Employees will have to pay more for their coverage as a result. And the tribe itself faces a $2.2 million fine if it ignores the decision, The Daily Signal reported.

Tribes elsewhere are facing millions of dollars in fines as well. Congress could resolve the situation by passing the Tribal Employment and Jobs Protection Act (S.1771 | H.R.3080), a bill that clarifies that tribes are exempt from the large employer mandate.

Get the Story:
How Obamacare Will Cost Native American Tribes Millions of Dollars (The Daily Signal 9/21)
Northern Arapaho Tribe appeals Affordable Care Act ruling (AP 9/4)

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