Author Topic: Obama Administration Exempts American Indians from Obamacare Mandate  (Read 724 times)

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Offline AbaraXas

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The Obama administration on Wednesday broadened an exemption for American Indians from the new health care law's requirement that virtually every U.S. resident has health insurance starting next year.

New rules clarify that people who are eligible to receive medical care through the federal Indian Health Service will be exempt from the requirement to have health insurance or face fines from the Internal Revenue Service. The Indian Health Service, a division of U.S. Health and Human Services, oversees a network of clinics that are required through treaty obligations to serve all patients of Indian ancestry, even if they cannot document their federal tribal status.

"Today, we continue to fulfill our responsibility to consult and work with tribal communities," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.
- See more at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/obama-administration-exempts-american-indians-obamacare-mandate#sthash.0p3GksgH.dpuf




Woo hoo, I found my exemption. (of course, I have to use Native American Health Services).
I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.

Offline Atomic Cow

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Re: Obama Administration Exempts American Indians from Obamacare Mandate
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2013, 09:30:08 PM »
People need to star suing left and right using the Equal Protection Clause.  The law should apply to everyone or no one. The Supreme Court just loves those kind of cases.
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

Online massadvj

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Re: Obama Administration Exempts American Indians from Obamacare Mandate
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2013, 09:54:46 PM »
I guess this means Elizabeth Warren gets two exemptions: one for being in congress, and one for being a "Native American." 
"She only coughs when she lies."

Online Oceander

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Re: Obama Administration Exempts American Indians from Obamacare Mandate
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2013, 10:12:04 PM »
I guess this means Elizabeth Warren gets two exemptions: one for being in congress, and one for being a "Native American." 

And a third for being a democrat, no doubt.

Back on topic, though:  this makes more sense than most of the politically-motivated exemptions he's been passing out like candy because there are treaties between the US and the various tribes that affect how this monstrous abortion of a law applies to native americans.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2013, 10:13:40 PM by Oceander »

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Obama Administration Exempts American Indians from Obamacare Mandate
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2013, 10:16:33 PM »
Plus the Indians already have socialized medicine.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: Obama Administration Exempts American Indians from Obamacare Mandate
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2013, 10:29:55 PM »


THE AMERICAN INDIAN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
By Doris Nelson
The American Indian health care system is a completely separate system and is largely unknown outside of Indian Country. To understand this system, we need to learn about the historical relationship between Native Americans and the federal government, and why the United States has the responsibility to provide health care for 3.3 million American Indians and Alaska Natives belonging to 564 federally recognized Tribes.1

Historical Background

For most of the 19th century the federal government was at war with the many tribes of American Indians. Native Americans were dispossessed of their lands, and efforts were made to wipe out their traditions, beliefs and culture. “A good example of this dispossession policy is the Dawes Act of 1887, which effectively replaced group or tribal ownership of land with individual ownership and made available to white homesteaders land not allotted to individual Native Americans. The assimilation policies of this era sometimes made it illegal to speak traditional languages or practice traditional customs, contributing to the decline in health of many Native Americans. This attempted eradication of native people and their culture was rooted in the belief that they were racially, ethnically, and culturally inferior.”2

Over the past 300 years, Native American nations have ceded over 400 million acres to the federal government in exchange for benefits to guarantee the survival and integrity of their Tribes, including health care. “This health care obligation requires the government to provide medical treatment to all Native Americans living in the United States”3

In 1803, the federal government assigned the responsibility for Native American health to the Office of Indian Affairs in the War Department. In 1849, the health care duties were transferred to the Department of the Interior and re-named Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), which administered funding for health care programs provided by Congress. Complaints were made during the 1920s that the BIA was poorly equipped to combat public health emergencies such as TB, trachoma, small pox and other contagious diseases. In response, a Commission was formed to inspect reservations, schools and hospitals. The Commission‟s Meriam Report documented “substandard health conditions resulting from government inefficiency and inadequate funding.”4

In 1955, the division responsible for Native American health care was transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Today, the Indian Health Service (IHS) is the principle federal health care provider and health care advocate for Native Americans.3
The Indian Health Care System

Mission and Goal:

“The mission of the IHS, in partnership with American Indian and Alaska Native people, is to raise their physical, mental, social, and spiritual health to the highest level.”1

2
Population Served:

Members of 564 federally recognized Tribes; 1.9 million American Indians and Alaska Natives residing in or near reservations.5

Administration of direct health care services:5

“IHS services are administered through a system of 12 Area Offices and 161 IHS and tribally managed service units.” Over half of the IHS budget authority appropriation is administered by Tribes.

Urban Indian Health Care Services and Resource Centers:5

“There are 34 urban programs, ranging from community health to comprehensive primary health care services. Approximately 600,000 American Indians and Alaska Natives reside in counties served by urban Indian health programs.”

Available Facilities:1
Hospitals
31 IHS and 14 Tribal

Health Centers
61 IHS and 257 Tribal

Alaska Village Clinics
166 Tribal

Health Stations
30 IHS and 102 Tribal

School Health Centers
2 IHS and 13 Tribal

Per Capita Personal Health Care Expenditures Comparison:5
IHS user population: $2,349
Total U.S. population: $6,538

Legislative History Assigning Federal Responsibility for Health Care


The Snyder Act (1921) was the first major legislation authorizing funding for health care services. It was the first time Congress developed a broad Native American health policy.

In 1976, Congress enacted the Indian Health Care Improvements Act (IHCIA) establishing the basic structure for the delivery of health services to Native Americans and authorizing the construction and maintenance of health care and sanitation facilities on reservations.6 This legislation “clearly acknowledged the legal and moral responsibility for „providing the highest possible health status to Indians…with all the resources necessary to effect that policy.‟”4
The IHCIA included specific language that:

1) Addressed the recruitment and retention of health professionals serving Native American communities;
2) Focused on health services for urban Native Americans; and
3) Addressed the construction, replacement and repair of health facilities.
The Act has been amended and reauthorized several times. Although it expired in 2001 and is not yet reauthorized, Congress continues to appropriate funds for programs under the Snyder Act.6
Challenges

There have been health improvements since 1973, though Indian people continue to experience major health disparities compared to the general U.S. population. “Death rates are significantly higher in many areas…including tuberculosis (750% higher), alcoholism (550% higher), diabetes (190% higher), unintentional injuries (150% higher), homicide (100% higher), and suicide (70% higher).”1

In 2009, the effort to reauthorize the IHCIA was connected to federal health care reform legislation.7 In its June 11, 2009, testimony before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, the National Congress of American Indians made the following statement:

…the IHS has been characterized over the past decade as a ‘broken’ system. The truth is that the IHS system is not so much broken as it is ‘starved.’ The IHS has been grossly underfunded for decades and as such, cannot be expected to function optimally. Such inadequate funding has created the perception that the system is broken.

Despite these desperate statistics, the reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, the baseline authority for providing direct health care to American Indian and Alaska Natives, has not been reauthorized for ten years. The bill establishes objectives for addressing some of the basic and overwhelming health disparities confronting Indians as compared with other Americans and provides progressive approaches to health care delivery that will help move Indian health care into the 21st century. Passage of this much needed legislation is not only necessary to fulfill the Federal government’s responsibility of health care to Indian people; it must happen so that Indian people are placed on parity with the majority population and able to engage meaningfully in national health care reform.7

On December 11, 2009, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs unanimously passed a strengthened and improved Act.8

Endnotes
1 http://info.ihs.gov/QuickLook09.asp
2 http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/nahealth/nabroken.pdf
3 Ibid, p. 23.
4 Ibid, p. 24.
5 http://info.ihs.gov/Profile09.asp
6 http://info.ihs.gov/HlthImprvAct.asp
7 Senate testimony: Reforming the Indian Health Care System, National Congress of American Indians, Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Hearing on Reforming the Indian Health Care System, pp. 1-2, June 11, 2009.
8 Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Press release, December 11, 2009.
Doris Nelson (LWVCA) is a member of the LWVUS Health Care Education Task Force. Produced by the LWVUS Health Care Education Task Force, 2010
©2010 by the League of Women Voters of the United States
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline mountaineer

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Re: Obama Administration Exempts American Indians from Obamacare Mandate
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2013, 11:13:33 PM »
I'm a native American, too (born in Pennsylvania), but no exemptions for me!
The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats allow the poor to be corrupt, too.
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