WESTERN CAROLINA MEDICAL SOCIETY How the Eastern Cherokee took control of their health care
Casino profits have allowed the North Carolina tribe to opt out of the national Indian Health Service, and helped them create model health care in WNCb.
By Katja Ridderbusch
Light pours through large windows and glass ceilings of the Cherokee Indian Hospital onto a fireplace, a waterfall and murals. Rattlesnake Mountain, which the Cherokee elders say holds ancient healing powers, is visible from most angles. The hospital’s motto — “Ni hi tsa tse li” or “It belongs to you” — is written in Cherokee syllabary on the wall at the main entrance.
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Let’s close the coverage gap for all uninsured in NC
by Dr. Mark McNeill
Wouldn’t you want to bring a $4 billion investment into NC that could add 40,000 jobs to our economy in just five years? What if these funds also helped address the opioid crisis and lowered insurance premiums? You probably would.
NC House Bill (HB) 655 – NC Health Care for Working Families — can do just that right now by closing the coverage gap for employed but uninsured North Carolinians. This bill is a major step in the right direction to provide affordable healthcare and improve the wellness of our region. It is estimated to cover over 300,000 North Carolinians who currently do not qualify for Medicaid. The plan also focuses on preventative care and wellness. However, I am concerned that the work requirement creates unnecessary administrative barriers for struggling and vulnerable North Carolinians.
Closing NC’s health insurance coverage gap through HB 655 would provide hundreds of thousands of our state’s working poor access to life-saving healthcare. Thirty-seven states, red and blue, have closed the coverage gap by increasing access to Medicaid using federal funds. Closing the coverage gap has been key to Ohio’s positive results in turning the tide on their opioid crisis. But the work requirement in the NC bill creates a layer of administrative red tape that has been shown to be ineffective at boosting employment and a harmful barrier to accessing care, particularly to those with disabilities.1 It has also been deemed illegal when included in other similar laws in Kentucky and Arkansas.2
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“Villages preserve culture: dress, food and dance are a few examples. As villages grow in population and turn into towns, local cafes make way for large American chains. Handmade leather sandals are discarded for a pair of Western sneakers.
Due to its small size, a village fosters a tight-knit sense of community. Justpeace.org explains the meaning of the African proverb, “It takes a village,” by stating that a sense of community is critical to maintaining a healthy society.
Village members hold a wealth of information regarding their heritage: they know about the ancient traditions, methods of production and the resources of the land. When villages become dispersed or exterminated in times of war, this anthropological knowledge disappears.
Large cities are not as conducive to growing and producing foods such as fruits and vegetables. Villages, on the other hand, usually have ample amounts of land and other resources necessary for growing conditions.” The Importance of Villages by Catherine Capozzi
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