GOP Plan Will Hit Native People Harder - Diverse Health

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GOP Plan Will Hit Native People Harder

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by Amanda Michelle Gomez

As Senate Republicans attempt to produce their own health care blueprint this week, beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act are left wondering: what will happen to me? But one community is especially vulnerable if Congress repeals the ACA: Native Americans and Alaska Natives.

The American Health Care Act, the Republican bill currently making its way through Congress, does not undermine the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, a 1976 legislative promise made by the federal government to Native Americans to care and educate their community. (This act was later attached to the ACA in 2010 for funding purposes.) However, the House version of the health care bill rolls back key ACA cornerstones, like Medicaid expansion and cost-sharing protections, which will affect how the Native community gets comprehensive health care.

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