Native Americans Applaud Supreme Court Ruling

Jun 28, 2012

In upholding the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court has also affirmed the permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.

Many Native Americans receive healthcare through the Indian Health Service, or IHS, with more than 10,000 people in Wyoming eligible for services, and 2-million nationwide.

The Indian Healthcare Improvement Act hasn’t been re-authorized in 12 years. With the Affordable Care Act, the IHS will be updated to include preventative measures, like cancer screenings, long-term care services, mental and behavioral health and treatment, and improved veterans’ services.

Ahniwake Rose works with the National Congress of American Indians.

"This is going to transform everything for us," says Rose. "Lower our health care costs, increase the programs and services that we’re going to be able to provide to folks. If we’re catching these illnesses before they even happen, then you can imagine how much further we’re going to be able to have our dollars go."

Rose adds that through the Affordable Care Act, healthcare for Native Americans will now be updated to the same standards the rest of the United States receives.