Health care is the uttermost importance in every family in the United States. Many Native Americans have health care from Indian health facilities. The problem with this is that they cannot perform emergency operations, so Native Americans are forced to figure out how to get the care that they need outside of their territory: “Although tribal members are entitled to free health care, most Indian health facilities do not offer a full array of services. When patients need major surgery or cancer treatments, for example, they are referred to specialists outside of Indian lands” (Vestal 1). Health care is also something to be sought for if do not have it. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services expressed on the report Three Things Should Know, “If you are not offered health insurance coverage through your employer or are unemployed, you may be eligible for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace” (1). The Affordable Care Act is something that Native Americans can qualify for if they are advocating for assistance for severe surgeries that would be beyond the scope of urban Indian organization. The two programs that Native Americans can look into applying is Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Although the U.S. health system is based on income driven, it can be a plus for the Native Americans who are low income. In addition, CHIP is intended to give health care for children whose families’ that have high income and do not qualify for Medicaid. CHIP is for children and mothers. On the other hand, Medicaid is health care for low income families, the elderly, or those with disabilities. The Federal Poverty Level (FPL) is $44, 700 for a typical family that has four members. That shows the cut off for determining eligibility.
The solution for Native Americans to know about the importance about getting health insurance is to enroll in Medicaid. Vestal asserts “And nearly half of all Indians have incomes low enough to qualify for Medicaid in states that have chosen to expand coverage, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. More than 1 million Native Americans are already enrolled in Medicaid” (1). Native Americans that are uninsured need to be able to be covered under the Affordable Care Act. Affordable Care Act consist of preventive health care, which includes counseling for eating healthy, flu shots, and physical wellness check ups to name a few. They should not be making co payments if their income is under the Federal Poverty Level for an individual: “Tribal members with incomes below 300 percent of the federal poverty level ($34,470 for an individual) are exempt from paying deductibles and copays, so they can purchase the cheapest plans without worrying about out-of-pocket expenses” (1). There are more Native Americans that have Medicaid in California than any other state in the U.S because health insurance is big deal. Everybody should have health care. Thus, Native Americans should reach out to the federal government if needed. Switzerland is a contrast because health care is based on consumer needs and not income. Switzerland is a consumer driven health care system because they are given an amount of money from the government for their needs such as choosing their health care.
Matis, Justin. How to Solve American Health Care Crisis. Slate. Retrieved from http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2013/08/a_solution_to_the_health_care_crisis_indian_doctors_on_indian_reservations.html
Medicaid & CHIP Coverage. Retrieved from https://www.healthcare.gov/medicaid-chip/
(1995). Three Things You Should Know. Retrieved from http://www.ihs.gov/aca/thingstoknow/
Vestal, Christine. (2013). Affordable Care Act A Hard Sell for Native Americans.USA Today A Gannett Company. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/15/stateline-obamacare-native-americans/2986747/