indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Dynamic Homes
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Indian lawmakers support Republican repeal of Affordable Care Act

Filed Under: Health | National | Politics
More on: 115th, aca, democrats, donald trump, h.r.1628, house, ihcia, ihs, john hoeven, medicaid, ncai, nihb, republicans, scia, senate, tom udall
     
   

Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma) addresses the winter session of the National Congress of American Indians in Washington, D.C., on February 15, 2017. Photo by Indianz.Com / Available for use under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

The only two enrolled tribal citizens serving in Congress are celebrating with fellow Republicans after a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act cleared the House in a close vote.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma), a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, and Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma), a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, were among the 217 Republicans who supported H.R.1628, the American Health Care Act. The bill passed by just four votes on Thursday afternoon. No Democrats supported it.

“It’s painfully obvious that the Affordable Care Act is not working,” Cole said in a press release. “Premiums have risen through the roof, patient choices have dwindled, and taxes and penalties have increased dramatically. While the legislation we passed today isn’t a perfect solution, it will increase choices, reduce costs, and give consumers greater flexibility.”

“The American Health Care Act takes health care out of the hands of Washington, D.C. bureaucrats and puts it back where it belongs: in the hands of the patients,” Mullin said in his press release.


The White House on YouTube: Remarks on American Health Care Act

Cole and Mullin have voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, in the past but those bills stood little chance of becoming law when Barack Obama was in office. Republicans are hoping the situation changes with President Donald Trump in their corner.

“This has really brought the Republican Party together, as much as we’ve come up with a really incredible healthcare plan,” Trump said in a victory speech at the White House after the vote on H.R.1628.

Both Cole and Mullin have said they have been consumed by the repeal and replace effort since the start of the 115th Congress in January. Their primary goal was to ensure that the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, which was made permanent by the Affordable Care Act, was not affected.

They were successful in that regard. The bill does not change the status of the landmark Indian health law and does not disturb other pro-tribal provisions of the ACA.

The replace portion has been trickier. By halting the expansion of Medicaid and making other changes to the program, tribal advocates are worried that the the Indian Health Service, which is already woefully underfunded, will lose a major source of revenue.

“Today, Medicaid represents 67% of 3rd party revenue at the IHS, and 13% of overall IHS spending,” the National Indian Health Board and the National Congress of American Indians wrote in a joint letter to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), the Speaker of the House.

“However, this amount is just 0.15% of total national Medicaid spending. These proposed changes to the Medicaid program will mean less services for AI/ANs and increased pressure on the severely underfunded IHS,” the March 23 letter to Ryan -- whose children are Chickasaw Nation descendants through his wife, according to a close relative -- stated.

As attention turns to the Senate, tribal advocates are already lobbying for improvements to the new version of the bill, which was made public just days before its passage. Some of them met with the leaders of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on Thursday as part of the effort.

“To raise the quality of life throughout Native communities, we must ensure that tribal members and families have access to quality and reliable health care,” Sen. John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), the new chairman of the committee, said in a press release after meeting with NIHB's board of directors. “This is often not the case for the many individuals whose sole option for a health care provider is the Indian Health Service.”

“Tribes deserve better – that’s why we’re working to reform the broken health care system for Natives,” Hoeven added, referring to forthcoming legislation to address longstanding management, financial and other issues at the IHS.

Sen. Tom Udall (D-New Mexico), the new vice chairman of the committee, also met with the NIHB board. But unlike Hoeven, who did not address the House vote on the health care bill, he was extremely critical of the legislation.

“President Trump and Washington Republicans are trying to force through a vote without a single public hearing and before Americans can learn exactly how much this disastrous, politically motivated gamble will cost,” Udall said in a press release.

The Senate, which is controlled by Republicans, is expected to develop its own health care package this summer. Although some in the chamber are opposed to Medicaid changes, one person thinks the repeal and repeal campaign will eventually succeed.

“We’re going to get this passed through the Senate. I feel so confident,” Trump said on Thursday.

Related Stories:
Mark Trahant: Republican bill takes billions from Indian health care (May 4, 2017)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs looks at 'high risk' Indian programs (May 3, 2017)
Funding bill holds the line for Indian Country ahead of Trump cuts (May 2, 2017)
Mark Trahant: Bill boosts spending for Indian Country -- for now (May 1, 2017)
Mark Trahant: The fight ahead for the future of Indian health care (March 27, 2017)
Mary Smith and Mary Wakefield: Obamacare repeal is bad for Indian Country (March 21, 2017)
Markwayne Mullin: Promise kept to protect Indian health care law (March 13, 2017)
Mark Trahant: Obamacare replacement faces narrow path to becoming law (March 13, 2017)
Indian health care law safe for now as GOP targets Obamacare (March 8, 2017)
Mark Trahant: Republicans roll dice with Obamacare replacement (March 7, 2017)
House panel looks at Indian Health Service infrastructure needs (March 6, 2017)
Bill seeks comprehensive audit of Indian Health Service amid debate on Obamacare (March 1, 2017)
Tribal leaders hear dueling messages on Indian health in the new Donald Trump era (February 14, 2017)
Rob Bishop: Republicans aren't trying to get rid of Indian health law (February 6, 2017)
Raúl Grijalva: Republicans are forgetting about Indian Country again (February 2, 2017)
Harlan McKosato: Indian Health Service is in danger under President Trump (January 30, 2017)
Mark Trahant: Congress moves forward with repeal of Obamacare (January 16, 2017)
Republicans take initial steps to dismantle Indian health care law (January 4, 2017)

Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Lawmakers once again seek fixes to 'broken' Indian Health Service (5/25)
Secretary Zinke headed to National Congress of American Indians (5/25)
Bureau of Indian Affairs opens listening sessions on reorganization (5/25)
Kevin Washburn: Indian Country feels the pain with Donald Trump (5/25)
Yakama Nation landowners weigh offers as buy-back winds down (5/25)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe cannabis consultant found not guilty (5/25)
Secretary Zinke plans to work with tribes on drilling push in Alaska (5/25)
Republican candidate to replace Ryan Zinke charged with assault (5/25)
Democrats drop Andrew Jackson from name of event in Arkansas (5/25)
Chickasaw Nation breaks ground on $10M casino by Texas border (5/25)
Washoe Tribe celebrates 1st anniversary of unique gaming facility (5/25)
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community shares update on casino work (5/25)
Trump administration ready to let Cobell program run out of funds (5/24)
Northwest tribes slam Trump's budget for cuts to Indian programs (5/24)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe finds one bright spot in Trump's budget (5/24)
Pascua Yaqui Tribe reports jury conviction of non-Indian offender (5/24)
YES! Magazine: Native birthing center maintains tribal traditions (5/24)
Peter d'Errico: Founding Fathers conspired to take land from tribes (5/24)
Eastern Cherokee chief questions fairness of impeachment hearing (5/24)
Another guilty plea in theft of gaming funds from Winnebago Tribe (5/24)
Tribes clear legislative hurdle in bid for new casino in Connecticut (5/24)
President Trump confirms Indian Country's worst fears with budget (5/23)
Office of Special Trustee pitches lower budget as 'taxpayer' savings (5/23)
Steven Newcomb: Monuments to white supremacy harm our people (5/23)
Two more spills of oil from Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota (5/23)
Native woman in skirt and sandals wins ultramarathon in Mexico (5/23)
Brothers from Huichol Tribe murdered as drug war rages in Mexico (5/23)
Iowa Tribe misses deadline again to launch internet poker project (5/23)
Mississippi Choctaw citizens request vote on $25M casino project (5/23)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe must wait to restart work on casino (5/23)
Documents show few meetings between Secretary Zinke and tribes (5/22)
Landowners on 2 reservations in Nebraska receive buy-back offers (5/22)
Human Rights Complaint: 'We are only letting the white people in' (5/22)
Mark Trahant: Funds for Indian health in danger under Republicans (5/22)
Cronkite News: Navajo Nation school works hard to teach language (5/22)
Harlan McKosato: DNA tests can't reveal your unique tribal history (5/22)
Gyasi Ross: Fired FBI director made sure Peltier remained in prison (5/22)
Tiffany Midge: A response to winning the cultural appropriation prize (5/22)
André Cramblit: Treasure your aunties and uncles for their histories (5/22)
Treaty tribes celebrate after court refuses to rehear salmon dispute (5/22)
Eastern Cherokee leaders open impeachment hearing against chief (5/22)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.