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Mary Annette Pember: Native advocate can't trust Trump team due to instability

What is the Trump team doing about the Indian Health Service, which has suffered from chronic mismanagement and underfunding? In a report for Rewire, independent journalist Mary Annette Pember talks to several experts, including Native women’s advocate Charon Asetoyer of the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center, who says the new administration's instability -- the IHS lacks a permanent leader, eights months after President Donald Trump took office -- is cause for concern:
Native women’s advocate Charon Asetoyer is suspicious of the administration’s motives. Given the president’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and cut Medicaid funding, Asetoyer is unwilling to believe any plan Trump or his advisers support.

“This administration is so unstable; I’m reluctant to believe anything Trump proposes until I see it written down in concrete,” she said.

Asetoyer of the Comanche Nation is director of the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center in South Dakota (NAWHERC).

In her advocacy work, Asetoyer often researches how well IHS meets its federal requirement to provide reproductive health services such as the emergency contraceptive Plan B to Native women.

Despite assurances by IHS leaders that reproductive services will be equally available to all Native women and girls, she has seen many examples in which policy changes aren’t communicated throughout the system.

In a recent survey conducted by NAWHERC, researchers found that 10 percent of IHS facilities do not comply with national IHS policies requiring them to provide patients with Plan B as an over-the-counter medication.

Read More on the Story:
Mary Annette Pember: The Trump Administration Might Not Be Terrible for Indian Health Services (Rewire September 20, 2017)

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