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Monday, November 9, 2009

Is Pechanga’s Rationing of Tribal Healthcare A Harbinger of Pelosicare? Was Pechanga's Disenrollment Committee The Tribes "Death Squad'?

Tribes like Pechanga have “Cadillac plans” which could be taxed to help pay for universal health care. Pechanga has already “rationed” their health care plan by terminating members and dependents. Pechanga has already signed virtual death warrants by taking health care away from their people


At the end of September, Mark Trahant wrote an article on taxing The logic of Tribal Health care. He mixes the Indian Health Service care which is rationed vs some tribes Health Care.


Trahant: The Indian health system’s funding is so low that many patients are counted as part of the uninsured population in government data. OP: Doesn’t that make us all feel more comfortable about Pelosi’s government option?

The Senate Finance Committee’s health reform concept paper put it this way: “The IHS itself has stated that its funding does not allow it to provide all the needed care for eligible Indians. As a result, some services are ‘rationed,’ with the most critical care given first. … The reality of this under-funding is that money for contract health services does not last the entire year, forcing IHS to limit services to circumstances involving a ‘loss of life or limb’ circumstance. This predicament is so common in Indian Country that many tribal members fear that if they need care after June, they will be forced to go without.”

Many tribes have stepped up and contributed their own money to improve health care in Indian country. This ranges from paying extraordinary medical bills for tribal members to purchasing health insurance. OP: This is NOT designed to improve health care in Indian country. It’s to take care of their own tribal members and dependents. The effect on improving health care is secondary and incidental

Trahant: Hurrah. But this is where this story takes a strange twist: The government’s response to those innovative approaches is to treat this generosity as a taxable event. The IRS wants 1099 forms sent to individual members. (Perhaps a tax bill should be sent to the U.S. government instead.) OP: The tribes that are doing this are primarily gaming tribes who are rolling in cash. Pechanga currently pays its members $30,000 per month. Health coverage is in ADDITION to that. They are able to do this because they have eliminated or “rationed” 25% of their tribal members and are keeping hundreds out of the tribe.

The Pechanga Tribe Band of Luiseño Indians in California studied its heath care needs for two years, and then enacted a mandatory group coverage policy for tribal members. “This has led to measurable improvement in the physical health of our tribe. Earlier this year, we opened a new exercise facility that contributes to and facilitates the health and wellness of our tribal citizens,” testified Mark Macarro, the band’s chairman, before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Sept. 18.

However, the IRS asked the tribe to demonstrate how the program was “need” based – or it would consider these taxable benefits. OP: Hunters were involved in the development of health insurance for Pechanga members AND were responsible for a health clinic being built on the reservation, NOW they don't qualify for either. There was a need for coverage for the 230 tribal members and another 250 dependents that were terminated! Factors in the tribe felt that others shouldn’t receive their rightful benefits.

“It appears to us that the IRS is interpreting ‘need’ as meaning only ‘financial’ need,” Macarro said. “From our perspective, this makes absolutely no sense. The Pechanga government has stepped in where the federal government has fallen short for our people. … Pechanga has decided not to wait on the federal government to fulfill its trust obligation to our people.” The basic issue is how the IRS interprets its “general welfare” exclusion. Sarah Ingram, the IRS commissioner for Tax Exempt and Government Entities, said there is a difference in the law between those who work for tribes as employers and tribal members. “Where there is no employer involved, the (tax) Code contains no provision that would allow a tribal member who is not a tribal employee to exclude the value of tribally-provided health care coverage.”

OP: There is NO financial need for the tribe to pay for members health care. Not with the $360,000 they are making now that the have cut blood members and relatives from the tribe.

Trahant: There are two ways to fix this mess. Congress could clarify the law (the route the IRS would prefer). Or a “revenue ruling” could easily fix this problem administratively, testified Scott Taylor, a professor of law at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. He cited other examples of such a governmental exclusion, including the Veterans Administration and Medicare. Taylor is an expert and was a professor-in-residence with the IRS.
Those who decry the under-funding of Indian health could come up with real appropriations and make the system whole.

OP: Exactly. Gaming tribes should be able to pay for health care for tribal members, said members can pay taxes on that health care to their dependents. Tribes who follow their tribal law should be held up as good examples, tribes like Pechanga which don’t should be handled separately, like a true sovereign nation. Don't lump the rich tribes in with the poor. And remember, Pechanga, via their unlawful moratorium and disenrollments, have foisted the health coverage of many onto the states, and they've created MORE poor people.

17 comments:

No More Corruption said...

I think people should think twice about all the crap that Pechanga puts on the air. What are they really hiding? Why would they treat their own families this way?

cideways said...

Civil rights for ALL! That includes Indians too.

Anonymous said...

Civil rights FOR Indians, not to be taken away BY Indians...or adopted people like the Murphys

Anonymous said...

The reading public that may stumble on this hate site should know the disenrollees lost their membership because when challenged on its legitimacy they could not produce adequate credentials to support membership. The disenrollees did not have the facts on their side. Hence, the enrollment committee fulfilled its obligation to remove these non-members from the tribal roll. Further, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act says that the profits form a tribal casino operation must go to benefit the tribe and its members. As non-members, the disenrollees cannot receive any benefit through the tribe. These non-members have permanently lost their tribal rights, benefits, and privileges. The under-funding of the Indian Health Service has been going on for decades. The U. S. Congress routinely fails to fulfill the trust obligations of the United States to the tribal peoples. As a result, some tribes that now enjoy a source of revenue via casino profits have filled the crying need of their people for good medical care with a medical insurance plan. The federal government does the same when it gives people food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, prescription drug subsides, etc.

Anonymous said...

Funny! A hate site. From a tribe that keeps its rightful members out via a moratorium and one who terminated elders who helped get health care to the tribe.
How's those wife beaters from the Masiel Crime family?

'aamokat said...

Yes, Lawrence Madariaga helped build the very clinic that you Pechanga tribal members go to on the reservation.

But after years of service to his tribe and just after receiving an award from the tribe, he was kicked to the curb from the tribe.

And talk about hateful as well as greedy behavior, the recent vote this year in 2009 when reportedly the tribe voted to not have the enrollment committee process applications that were found to have been submitted before the deadline for the start of the moratorium on new adult members is very hateful.

Also, why is it hateful for this blog to point out that tribal members who have a huge income can get subsidized health care from the federal government for simply being members of a recognized tribe?

Can our anonymous critic prove that it isn't true?

As usual, no.

'aamokat said...

Also, are anonymous critic always says that the facts were not on our side and that is why we the disenrolled were kicked out of the tribe.

But what facts is he or she talking about?

Because this person used to try to argue points with us but now just pops in from time to time and makes general statements.

And we kept shooting his or her arguments down with the facts that were on our side that we are Pechanga people as the facts did not justifying disenrolling us.

Anonymous said...

What was that challenge to the Hunter legitimacy?

Was it: We think Paulina Hunter was a witch ala The Crucible?

or:

There is a Paulina Hunter from OHIO on the IGI list?

The Truth said...

"The Pechanga Tribe Band of Luiseño Indians in California studied its heath care needs for two years, and then enacted a mandatory group coverage policy for tribal members. “This has led to measurable improvement in the physical health of our tribe. Earlier this year, we opened a new exercise facility that contributes to and facilitates the health and wellness of our tribal citizens,” testified Mark Macarro, the band’s chairman, before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Sept. 18."

Mark you forgot to tell the comittee that you also voted to not allow disenrolled clans still living on the reservation to use this 18 million dollar health facility. You also do not allow the tribal rangers or fire department members to use it either. Remember that those children and elders are still indian, and could benefit from the rec. center, along with the departments who provode a viable service to our reservation.

Anonymous said...

So then Trahant was wrong about Pechanga when he said this:

Many tribes have stepped up and contributed their own money to improve health care in Indian country. This ranges from paying extraordinary medical bills for tribal members to purchasing health insurance.

Basically, Pechanga doesn't care about Indians....if they don't allow the Indians they disenrolled to use the facilities. How active IS that gym anyway? No Maruffo women use it right?

Anonymous said...

I heard they have to check your DNA before you can go in the 18 million dollar gym/food court.So that's why it is virtually empty 99% of the time because most of the members don't have American Indian DNA.So they just head back to the free buffet at the casino, now that's a workout.

'aamokat said...

Anonymous November 10, 2009 8:34 said:

"What was that challenge to the Hunter legitimacy?

Was it: We think Paulina Hunter was a witch ala The Crucible?

There is a Paulina Hunter from OHIO on the IGI list?"

The first comment is just hateful and not relevant so I will not even dignify it with a response.

The Ohio connection however is easy to refute.

The International Geneaology Index of the Mormon Church is not an historical record and even though there is an entry listing a Paulina Hunter married to a Thomas Hunter on this list, it is not relevant as even the IGI does not claim to be an historical source.

When a Hunter family member contacted the IGI concerning the Paulina Hunter record he was sent a letter from an IGI official who specifically stated that it is merely an index of names and that people who wanted to do historical research would have to go to the source historical documents.

In doing further research on the IGI entry I learned that it was submitted after 1991 by a member of the Mormon Church but so far I have not been able to find out who it was who did the submission.

I think it is entirely possible that a member of the CPP faction of the Pechanga tribe could have been behind this submission in attempt to slander the Hunter family name.

As I said before, all sides agree including the Pechanga enrollment committee, that Paulina Hunter was a California Indian and all source historical documents back this up where we differ is whether she was a Pechanga Indian or not.

The IGI listing was submitted to the enrollment committee by the CPP but it was not used in our case because it is not relevant.

CPP members, you better hope we don't find out it was you who submitted the IGI listing as if it was you, we will have grounds for a huge libel case against you.

'aamokat said...

So why does the Mormon Church have the International Geneaology Index if it is not an historical document?

The Index is probably for one of their church rituals of baptizing the dead.

People would have to ask a Mormon as to why they have this index as I am not a Mormon.

Sorry Hunter family critics, the IGI listing is not the smoking gun against us.

Anonymous said...

Payments for Health insurance coverage for non-employee tribal members are clearly taxable income under current law. The tribe should have reported the amount of the insurance premiums as income to the tribal member on form 1099, and the tribal member may include the cost of the health insurance premium on his or her return as an itemized medical deduction.

Pechanga, like many tribal governments has a poor record of compliance with basic income tax rules. The tribe supplies credit cards and picks up personal expenses for the favored few. Lavish travel and entertainment perks including private jets are provided without regard to the Tax Code and IRS regulations covering such payments. All expense paid junkets for tribal elders have been offered and the value of these trips has not been included in reports filed with the IRS as required by tax law. The Tribes education and tuition plan for tribal members is noncompliant with IRS rules regarding payment of educational expenses.

Arrogant and incompetent tribal leaders, who have turned Pechanga into their personal piggy bank, have interpreted tribal sovereignty as an exemption from accountability. A complete and thorough examination of the tribe’s finances and the personal income tax returns of tribal officers by the IRS are long overdue.

Anonymous said...

so what if you were a couple days late with your application ,or a week ,a month. if you can prove your indian and belong, let them in! all these years with this dum moratorium is ridiculous its all greed and nothing else!

Anonymous said...

The IRS rewards people who turn in tax` cheats....if you know they are cheating turn them in....a percentage is given to the "whistle blower"...you ex tribe members know all the secrets..its time that your leader and his cronies are made to pay the piper.

Anonymous said...

Turning in a tax cheat
You could be just a phone call away from riches. Just dial the Informant Communication Hotline at 1-800-829-0433 1-800-829-0433. Be sure to tell them upfront that you want to file Form 211, Application for Reward for Original Information. Without it, you won't see any monetary reward.

Form 211 will ask for your true name and signature. Mail it to the Informants Claim Examiner at the IRS center nearest you. Addresses are listed on the back of the form or call the Informant Communication Hotline for help.

Here's where the quality of your information is critical. IRS investigators are swamped with leads, most of them more vindictive than substantial, and understandably tend to pursue those with the best likelihood of recovering substantial revenue.

The information you provide could be rewarded by the IRS on one of three levels based on the amount recovered:

15 percent for specific information responsible for the investigation and a factor in the recovery,


10 percent for information, but not specific, resulting in an investigation and determination of tax liabilities and


1 percent for information leading to an investigation, but with no direct relationship to the determination of the tax liabilities (for instance, you only supplied a name).