Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Trump To Strike a BLOW at Tribal Sovereignty in Medicaid Requirements?

Trump Administration LOGO

After over a decade of disenrollments, abusing over 11,000 Native Americans (Tribes saying, THAT's okay, WE can do it) Now they don't like it when someone else is doing the abusing.

In this Teen Vogue op-ed, Ruth H. Hopkins (Cankudutawin-Red Road Woman), a Dakota/Lakota Sioux writer, biologist, attorney, and former tribal judge, explains how the Trump administration is trying to remove the classification that designates Native tribes as unique nations

Under the guise of Medicaid reform, it was reported by Politico on April 22 that the Trump administration is considering steps that would undermine the United States Constitution and upend hundreds of years of federal Indian law court precedent by dismantling federal recognition of tribal sovereignty, which acknowledges tribes’ right to govern themselves.

They have denied requests by tribal leaders to grant natives exemption from new Medicaid work requirements by disregarding tribes’ distinct political status as native nations and changing their designation to a racial group only, thereby making such an exemption a potential illegal racial preference. This action breaches the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, that says that treaties with tribes are the supreme law of the land, and shirks the government’s legal responsibility to provide health care for tribal citizens.

Native nations have existed for millennia on the North American continent as distinct Indigenous groups. The federal government currently acknowledges the existence of at least 567 tribes located in the U.S., although there are more that are recognized by states. The federal government officially recognizes these tribes’ through treaty, and most recently, through a regulatory process established by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1978

Trump’s apparent decision comes from the President’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and would suddenly eliminate treaty and trust obligations owed these tribes by removing their distinct classification as sovereign political entities and instead recategorize natives as a race only.

1 comment:

Helen Nowlin said...

You better believe it the attempt will be there to undermine tribal status. However, the treaties are contracts and the original signors may be deceased but the contracts along with those rights they created don't go away with time. It is possible to resurrect them. The only ones left to be standing will know this and come under original Common law jurisdiction. In fact, a recent U.S. Supreme Court case, the attorneys for both sides of the issue regarding federal government obligations and treaty rights (in the PNW) talked about those original common law rights established at the time the treaties were signed! It is true...we can stand in the shoes of the ancestors!