© 2023 Wyoming Public Media
800-729-5897 | 307-766-4240
Wyoming Public Media is a service of the University of Wyoming
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Transmission & Streaming Disruptions

Tribes await Supreme Court's healthcare verdict

With an initial Supreme Court vote on the controversial Affordable Care Act expected at any time, a big question remains for Native American 

communities: what if the entire act is struck down?

One section of the ACA that’s especially important to tribal communities in Wyoming is the Indian Health Care Improvement Act.

 The provision reformed standards established in the 1980’s. This means that if the entire ACA is thrown out, updates to healthcare provided by the Indian Health Service might revert back to outmoded 80’s standards - a return no one seems too thrilled to see come back. The provision’s updates

 include senior assistance, mental health care, alcohol abuse programs, long-term and home-health care. The Indian Health Service is the Wind River Reservation’s primary source of healthcare.

In an interview from 2011, 

Jacqeuline Johnson Pata, executive director for the National Congress of American Indians, said it was unclear what repeal of the ACA would mean to tribes.


On Wednesday, Justice Ginsberg referred to the Indian Health Care Improvement Act as one element of the ACA that is “unquestionably okay.”

Sara Hossaini is a reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She holds a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She brings a blend of documentary journalism and public interest communications experience developed through her work as a nonprofit multimedia consultant and Associate Producer on national PBS documentary films through groups such as the Center for Asian American Media, Fenton Communications and The Working Group. She likes to travel, to get her hands in the dirt and to explore her creative side through music, crafts and dance.