Trump challenge to Native Americans’ health splits HHS, alarms Hill GOP

May 10, 2018, Politico, Dan Diamond and Rachana Pradhan- HHS leaders want states to settle the contentious question of whether Native Americans should get jobs in order to keep their health care - a move that likely won’t resolve the underlying challenge to tribal sovereignty and was sparked by an unusual split between the agency’s politically appointed administrators and legal counsel. The agency’s position that tribes are a racial group and not separate governments, has raised concerns in Congress and alarmed the tribes, who say it reverses centuries of protections enshrined in the Constitution and upheld by the Supreme Court. HHS Secretary Alex Azar, the agency’s former general counsel, told tribal leaders at a meeting Thursday that state Medicaid administrators will be able to work with tribal governments on designing any employment requirements.

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