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Indian Health Board

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The Affordable Care Act is stirring up confusion and anger among the patients who visit a Los Angeles clinic dedicated to serving urban-based Native Americans. That's because President Barack Obama's reform has raised a painful question: which tribes get free health care and which have to pay?

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While a weekend snowstorm raged in Washington, D.C., a small group of health care advocates gathered in a conference room at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and were treated to a history lesson as well as a glimpse into the cold realities of Indian Country.

The topic: American Indian Health Policy. And unlike the weather that everyone talks about, a trio of speakers addressed a subject they insist is largely overlooked.

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James A. Crouch is executive director of the California Rural Indian Health Board. He is a member of the Cherokee Nation and overseas a multi-funded tribal organization providing direct health care services, technical assistance and advocacy to more than 45 tribes in California. Crouch received a bachelor's degree from the School of International Services at American University in Washington, D.C., and earned a master's in public health at the University of California, Berkeley.

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