Harold Monteau: Tribes take advantage of Affordable Care Act

"Let’s dispel a myth circulating in Indian country: Indians and Indian tribes are not prevented from taking advantage of the benefits of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). In fact, the PPACA has several incentives that Tribes and Indians may want to take advantage of in order to improve health care access on the reservation and improve access to what we commonly call “Contract Health Care” that is supposed to cover specialists, surgery, special procedures and hospitalization but has been historically underfunded by Congress. Long-term health care for the incapacitated and elderly has also been a long time struggle in Indian Country.

This historical underfunding of Indian Health Service (IHS) Contract Care has resulted in de facto triaging of Indian patients instead of proper care based on patient needs and Physician decisions as to best care. According to Health Care Professionals in IHS and Tribal Health entities, this triage system frequently results in patients having to wait for treatment until they move up in the triage system meaning they wait until they are critically ill or even untreatable. The result can be irreversible harm and even death."

Get the Story:
Harold Monteau: Why Tribes Should Opt Into the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Indian Country Today 8/27)

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Harold Monteau: Being Indian is more than just race or culture (8/13)

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