Obamacare Could Cost Native Americans Coverage

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Native Americans could lose free government health insurance under Obamacare.

That's because of a strict new definition of who qualifies as American Indians.

To claim an exemption, a Native American must document his or her membership in one of 566 tribes recognized by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.

"I'm one-eighth Algonquian and I thought about trying to prove it when I was going to college because of the financial aid that might be available, but it was too much of a hassle," Mark "One Hawk" Goff, a representative of the Ontelaunee Powwow, told the Reading Eagle

More than 100 tribes are recognized only by states and not by the federal government.     

Also, many tribes don't let members enroll until they're 18, meaning school age children won't meet the Obamacare requirements, even if their parents do. 

Geoff said Native Americans who are already registered with the BIA or live on a reservation should have little to worry about.

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