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Shutdown strains already-stressed Native American health system

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Shutdown strains already-stressed Native American health system

Native American tribes rely heavily on federal assistance for basic services such as health care, so the shutdown is hitting them harder than others. Tribal members say they can't get referrals for specialty care from the Indian Health Service if their conditions aren't life-threatening. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has created a workaround so that food stamp beneficiaries won't be cut off from aid this month.

The Associated Press: Shutdown Puts Strain On Hundreds Of Native American Tribes 

Fallout from the federal government shutdown is hurting Native Americans as dwindling funds hamper access to health care and other services. The pain is especially deep in tribal communities with high rates of poverty and unemployment, where one person often supports an extended family. The effects were being felt far and wide. (Fonseca, 1/12)

WBUR: On The Navajo Nation, 5,000 Workers Dependent On A Federal Paycheck 

With the partial federal government shutdown dragging on, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye says Congress should exempt tribes from feeling the effects. Historically, treaties with the U.S. government have guaranteed the Navajo and many other tribes federal financial assistance for health, education and economic development. So the shutdown is having an outsized impact. (Morales, 1/12)

Politico: Billions In Food Stamp Payments To Come Early Because Of Shutdown 

After raising alarm that the food-stamp program could run out of funding for February, the Trump administration announced this week that it had come up with a way to bankroll more than $4.8 billion in benefits next month — with just one catch: Benefits for the nearly 39 million people enrolled in the program must be paid out by Jan. 20, weeks earlier than usual. (Bottemiller Evich, 1/11)

Boston Globe: Food Banks To Discuss How To Respond To Federal Government Shutdown 

The Department of Agriculture said in a Jan. 8 statement that food service programs, including its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, were fully funded for this month and for February. But as the shutdown, which began Dec. 22, drags on, local officials are concerned that if funding is not restored, people who rely on SNAP will increasingly turn to food banks, which get food from the federal agency. (Hilliard, 1/14)

And in other news from the longest shutdown in U.S. history —

NPR: Child Care: 1 More Way Some Federal Workers Struggle During Shutdown 

At 10 o'clock in the morning, Austin Lanham should be working at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center routing satellite communication. But with the partial federal government shutdown, he's not working, deadlines are slipping, he's not getting paid and the preschool his two sons go to is shut down because it's on NASA's property. "Now I'm just a full-time stay at home dad," he says. That's the case with many federal child care centers in the Washington D.C. region and with some around the country. (Madden, 1/14)

CQ: Health Law Appeal Paused As Shutdown Affects Federal Courts 

The partial government shutdown halted a major challenge to the 2010 health care law among other civil litigation on Friday, as Justice Department lawyers sought the same in a challenge from three Senate Democrats to the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit issued a two-page order granting the Trump administration’s request to halt the 2010 health care law case “in light of lapse of appropriations.” (Ruger, 1/11)

The Wall Street Journal: Shutdown Breaks Record For Longest In Modern History 

The partial government shutdown became the longest in modern U.S. history on Sunday as the impasse over funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border stretched into its 23rd day. (Peterson, Bender and Ballhaus, 1/13)

The Washington Post: Americans Blame Trump And GOP Much More Than Democrats For Shutdown, Post-ABC Poll Finds 

By a wide margin, more Americans blame President Trump and Republicans in Congress than congressional Democrats for the now record-breaking government shutdown, and most reject the president’s assertion that there is an illegal-immigration crisis on the southern border, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll. (Clement and Balz, 1/13)

Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent news service. It is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health-care-policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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