Week 5: SCOTUS and the ACA – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 5: SCOTUS and the ACA


I’ve decided to post an article that originated within my organization. Although this article reflects on a national judicial decision to uphold tax subsidies though the federal marketplace, this decision has a huge impact on the people of Michigan, the citizens of Detroit, and our clients at AIHFS. In the article, Ashley Tuomi explains, “Michigan is one those states that participated in the federal exchanges. As some of you know American Indian Health and Family services has played an important role in enrolling both tribal members and non-tribal members through the Marketplace and Healthy Michigan. If the Supreme Court had not upheld the subsidies, most of the individuals that we enrolled in the marketplace would no longer be able to afford coverage and would become uninsured again.”

It is great to be at an organization that is ensuring the dissemination of this information via its website. This article demonstrates the organization’s willingness to stand by its outreach and the policy that supports its efforts. I believe it is important that the community not only learn of these decisions but what they mean for their community. I think that this article does a good job of informing about the decision and its effects on health access in Detroit.

As part of my internship, I have coded and entered data from encounters between health insurance navigators and community members. While entering the data, I was surprised at the volume of encounters between AIHFS and the community. These interactions are not limited to a specific population – AIHFS has enrolled individuals of many races, genders, religions, etc. However, these events have often targeted the native population at powwows and other cultural events.

It is a little known fact that Indian Health Service (IHS)-eligible patients (those with qualifying native ancestry or those enrolled in tribes) are exempt from the individual mandate within the affordable care act. This makes it even more important for the organization to reach its target community – the incentive to fulfill the individual mandate is not applicable. Although exempt, I believe it is still important for all individuals to have coverage and access to affordable care. I am proud to work at an organization that aims to provide affordable coverage to all, both in its practice and though insurance enrollment.

And, although entirely off-topic, I wanted to share this picture of a fresh raspberry from the garden at AIHFS.

A fresh raspberry from the garden at AIHFS.
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