ACA repeal won't affect tribe system
Repeal of the Affordable Care Act wouldn't affect most programs related to health care for Native Americans, officials said Wednesday.
The question of the future of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act (IHCIA) which funds health care programs, including the Indian Health Service that has facilities in Lawton, Anadarko and Oklahoma City arose when it became clear that repeal of the Affordable Care Act became possible with the election of President Donald Trump.
Although the IHCIA was included in the Affordable Care Act, it wouldn't be affected by repeal, according to the National Congress of American Indians and the office of Fourth District U.S. Rep. Tom Cole.
"The Indian Health Care Improvement Act, which is a part of the Affordable Care Act, is not included in the repeal bill, therefore it does not need to be replaced, nor will it go away ñ it is still in law," Teresa Davis, communications director for Cole, said in an email to The Lawton Constitution.
Denise Desiderio, who is a policy director for the National Congress of American Indians, said the IHCIA should remain "intact" despite repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Just in case, she said, Cole and other supporters in Congress have prepared legislation to make sure that the IHCIA remains in effect.