Search Our Site


How Obamacare Will Cost Native American Tribes Millions of Dollars - Melissa Quinn writes: “When Congress passed Obamacare, it exempted Native Americans from the individual mandate. The law did not, however, exempt Native American tribal governments from the employer mandate. Now, tribal leaders are pushing back and saying the employer mandate will cost them millions of dollars.

“Rebecca Bishop, a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe in Wyoming, purchased a plan on the federal exchange costing $948 a month. Bishop works as a swing shift manager at the tribe’s Cee Nu Ku cafe and suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. Bishop received a monthly subsidy of $815 and pays just $133 a month in premiums, with no co-pays or deductible.

“Now, tribal governments are beginning to realize the effects the employer mandate could have on the reservations’ economies and the lives of their employees.

Under the employer mandate, businesses with more than 50 full-time employees—classified as those working more than 30 hours each work—are required to provide health insurance to their employees. Companies that fail to abide by the employer mandate are required to pay a fine of $2,000 per full-time employee.

“The law also states that individuals with access to coverage independent of the exchange cannot get the subsidies available on the exchange, meaning that Native Americans like Bishop who have access to employer-sponsored coverage cannot continue purchasing plans on the exchange and receive their subsidies.

“‘This is what happens when Congress short circuits regular order, and doesn’t go through the relevant committees, and take the time to mark it up, and debate it the right way, and rush a complicated bill through,’ Ed Haislmaier, senior research fellow in health policy studies at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal.

“‘The other large issue is, from a policy perspective, the law also provided a very generous subsidization of coverage through the exchange for Native Americans who didn’t have access to other coverage,’ he continued. ‘This will essentially negate those provisions for a lot of members of tribes.’”

The United States cannot afford the Affordable Care Act. Examples of this complicated bureacracy and expense abounds. Every registered voter and taxpayer must read and understand what Obamacare is doing to our country foundationally as well as economically.