Health insurance may prove somewhat problematic for Native population
The impact that the Affordable Care Act will have on the U.S. health insurance sector is often a matter of heated debate. Those supporting the federal law suggest that it will make health insurance more inclusive for a broad range of consumers, while opponents suggest that it will raise the price of coverage significantly over the next several years. The law’s potential impact is typically focused on what effect it will have on American consumers, but there is a particular demographic that is not often represented in the concerns that surround the Affordable Care Act.
Federal law could have a significant impact on Native American consumers
Native Americans are a somewhat small, but important demographic that is often overlooked in the U.S. This is partly due to the fact that many Native American tribes exist as sovereign nations, holding their own land within U.S. territory. The majority of Native Americans hold U.S. citizenship and live within the U.S., meaning that they are susceptible to federal laws, such as the Affordable Care Act. The federal law is expected to have a significant impact on these consumers as it will with others throughout the country.
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More than 6,500 people could be affected by federal mandate
In Washington, D.C., alone, more than 6,500 Native Americans are facing the potential effects that the health care law may have on their health insurance coverage. Many of these people get their coverage for free through the Indian Health Services program. This particular program is exempt from the federal health care law, so it is not likely to be affected in any significant way. Native Americans are, however, likely to feel the pressure of the federal mandate that all U.S. citizens purchase and maintain health insurance coverage. The problem is that there are no Indian Health Services facilities in Washington, D.C., thus making it impossible for Native American consumers to receive the health insurance coverage they need.
Officials working to collect information on Native populace
According to the Affordable Care Act, only those that are associated with federally recognized tribes can be exempt from the health insurance mandate. In order to determine whether Native American consumers will be affected by this provision, Washington, D.C., Officials have begun collecting information concerning those associating with sovereign tribes.