Health | Law

Northern Arapaho Tribe files lawsuit over Affordable Care Act rules

The flag of the Northern Arapaho Tribe. Photo from Facebook

The Northern Arapaho Tribe of Wyoming filed suit against the federal government on Tuesday in hopes of stopping Affordable Care Act rules from going into effect.

The tribe has been helping its employees obtain health coverage through About 600 people work for tribal businesses and several hundred work for the tribal government itself.

"The tribe's effort to provide employee health insurance through exchange policies has been a success, providing more coverage at a lower cost than any insurance program the tribe could offer before," the complaint states.

But since the tribe employs more than 600 people, it is considered a Large employer under Affordable Care Act rules. As a result, the tribe says it will be forced to provide its own coverage to employees at a much higher cost, eliminating the benefits otherwise available for working class Native Americans.

"Congress did not intend to create special benefits in the ACA for working-class Native Americans, only to have defendants promulgate regulations that prevent working-class Native Americans who work for tribes from obtaining those benefits," the complaint states.

The tribe named the Secretaries of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Treasury as defendants. The Internal Revenue Service, an agency of the Treasury, issued ACA rules that go into effect January 1, 2015.

Get the Story:
Northern Arapaho file suit against IRS health care rule (The Casper Star-Tribune 12/10)
Northern Arapaho file lawsuit over Large Employer mandate (WyoFile 12/10)

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