Do they just make this stuff up?

Seriously. Does the Tribune editorial board just make things up in order to buttress their arguments? For example, yesterday's editorial stated: "Access to and availability of health care for the first citizens of this nation, Native Americans, was a trust contract solidified in the Constitution in 1787. That's a given."


If it's "a given," then I would think that a lawyer, even one with very little background in Indian Law, using modern research tools would be able to find some reference to this "trust contract" in 5 minutes of research. I couldn't find such a reference anywhere.

I can't find any such reference to "access to and availability of health care" in the U.S. Constitution. Nor can I find such a thing in the Indian Civil Rights Act.

I freely admit that I could be wrong and I do not deny that the US Government has assumed some obligation toward Native Americans.

But to just throw out something like that and say that it's "a given," seems to me to be potentially seriously misleading. What about the thousands of people who read that, believe it, and now think they have some constitutional right that may or may not exist.

I seriously wonder if they just make this stuff up.


Anonymous said...

The Trib throws out the comment that the "federal government" needs to step up and pay for this stuff- like the federal government is something separate and distinct from us taxpayers. What they are really saying is we should all have our taxes raised to provide medical welfare to Indians. How about the Tribune editorial board being the first to offer a chunk of their paychecks and put their money where their proverbial mouths are. I for one am tired of people telling taxpayers how we should be spending and using our own money. Are Indians any less capable than any other group of people of securing health coverage on their own if IHS services are not up to snuff? Why should we taxpayers be forced to shoulder the costs of health care that is the result of prescription addictions, lifestyle choices, living in a rural area, etc, etc? Where is it in the US Constituion, congressional act or any contract that this country has assumed the responsibility of providing medical welfare to Indians???

WolfPack said...

Did you catch the letter to the editor this morning? The writer suggests that since the US goverment has done so well with the indian universal healthcare system that they are now ready to expand the system and offer it to all of us!

GeeGuy said...

If you care, here is the letter wolfpack refers to:
Future health care
I read the extensive article highlighting the financial diffi­culties being faced by the vari­ous IHS facilities throughout Montana. As I read the article and noted the difficulties being faced, a question arose in my mind. If this problem is so grave and widespread on the tribal lands, what do we have to look forward to when national health care is offered as a “right” of all Americans?
Just curious.
— Michael Knight, Great Falls

free thought said...

They pretty much have to be making it up, because it simply is not true. Indians were not even counted as part of the citizenry in the US in the Constitution.

But, it seems clear that the Trib is used to having its words taken as gospel without question. No need for accuracy if they are never checked.

GeeGuy said...

I'll be watching for the correction...

Anonymous said...

Anotter fine exsample of teh govenmints historie taute in hour Publiq Skools!


Anonymous said...

This from Wikipedia: “The provision of health services to members of federally recognized tribes grew out of the special government-to-government relationship between the federal government and Indian tribes. This relationship, established in 1787, is based on Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, and has been given form and substance by numerous treaties, laws, Supreme Court decisions, and Executive Orders.” 25 U.S.C. § 1602 provides, “(a) The Congress hereby declares that it is the policy of this Nation, in fulfillment of its special responsibilities and legal obligation to the American Indian people, to assure the highest possible health status for Indians and urban Indians and to provide all resources necessary to effect that policy.” It’d take more energy than I have to find out if the statute is based on Congressional and/or judicial interpretation of the Constitution, but the editorial writer was at least pointed in the right direction.

GeeGuy said...

Well, Anon, as a self-proclaimed non-expert on Indian Law, I think you have offered a reasonable explanation, primarily in reliance on a Wikipedia article. (Although it took me a while to find the article. Search for "Indian Health Service").

I don't think, though, that the Wikipedia article and authorities cited therein offer much support to the Tribune's statement that it is "a given" that there was a "trust contract" that has been around since the drafting of the Constitution in 1787.

First, Article I, Section 8, says nothing about Indian health care. It grants congress the power to "regulate commerce" between the US and the various tribes. Other than through much interpretation, it cannot be said that this creates a "trust contract" to provide free health care to indians.

Likewise, 25 USC 1602, upon which Wikipedia relies, was passed in 1976.

I hold firm: the Tribune was wrong.

GeeGuy said...

By the way, I am the "self-proclaimed non-expert," not you!