For some reason it occurred to me to find out if the Affordable Care Act covers Native Americans. So I did an online search, an found that for most uninsured Americans, the motivation for checking out the health insurance exchanges is simple -- they could face stiff penalties if they don't sign up. For Native Americans, the decision is more complicated.
Longstanding treaties with the federal government guarantee all Native Americans free health care. As a result, the Affordable Care Act exempts them from paying a penalty if they choose not to purchase insurance. More than 2 million Native Americans receive free health care at federally supported Indian health facilities.
So the question is: why would an American Indian or Alaska Native sign up for reduced-rate insurance on the exchanges?
The complicated answer is supposedly contained within an article in USA TODAY -- But after reading it I'm still not sure I know any more than I did before reading it.
That happens a lot, it seems, as I grow older.
There is another source concerning the question. It is a PDF file from the U.S. Government titled: The Affordable Care Act Helps American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Here is the first paragraph:
For too long, too many hard working Americans paid the price for policies that handed free rein to insurance companies and put barriers between patients and their doctors. The Affordable Care Act gives hard-working families the security they deserve. The new health care law forces insurance companies to play by the rules, prohibiting them from dropping your coverage if you get sick, billing you into bankruptcy because of an annual or lifetime limit, or, soon, discriminating against anyone with a pre-existing condition. And it includes substantial new benefits for American Indians and Alaska Natives across the country.
Since I no longer believe anything that emanates from spokespersons for the Federal Government, I am not going to read the whole thing, but if you care to give it a try, it can be found HERE. But I am not going to read it. Not right now, anyway.
Did You Know . . .?
General George Armstrong Custer once said, "There are not enough Indians in the world to defeat the Seventh Cavalry."
Blizzard conditions disrupted the entire area. Transportation became impossible; some trains were halted by 20-foot snow drifts. Communication was interrupted as the wind and snow brought down telephone and telegraph lines. In some towns and villages, residents were forced to dig tunnels through the snow from their front doors to the streets. In New York City, 2,000 workers attempted to clear the key streets and avenues.
Boston was perhaps worst hit by the storm. Approximately 100 ships were blown ashore from the city's harbor and another 40 were sunk. About 100 people died when a Portland-based steamer sank near Cape Cod. Bodies and debris filled the harbors and nearby beaches.
WORD FOR TODAY
An American Indian.
Amerind is a blending of "American Indian". It refers collectively to the Indigenous peoples of the Americas who lived in the Western Hemisphere before European arrival to the continent. Use of the term is intended to avoid the confusion inherent in using "Indian", which can also refer to inhabitants of India.
(born November 26, 1938)
Rich Little is a Canadian-American impressionist and voice actor, nicknamed "The Man of a Thousand Voices," by voice actor Mel Blanc.
(born November 26, 1939)
Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock) is a singer, dancer, actress, and author, whose career has spanned more than half a century, earning her widespread recognition and numerous awards. Born and raised in the American South, she is now a Swiss citizen.
(Nov 26, 1922 - Feb 12, 2000)
Charles Schultz was an American cartoonist, best known for the comic strip Peanuts (which featured the characters Snoopy and Charlie Brown, among others). He is widely regarded as one of the most influential cartoonists of all time.
(born November 26, 1973)
Kristin Bauer is an American film and television actress, perhaps best known for her role as vampire Pam in the HBO series True Blood, as Jerry's girlfriend Gillian or "Man-Hands" on Seinfeld, and as sorceress Maleficent in the ABC series Once Upon a Time.
"We also recommit to supporting tribal self-determination, security, and prosperity for all Native Americans."
"I am a red man. If the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man he would have made me so in the first place."