ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Tom Kizzia of the Anchorage Daily News wrote an interesting profile of Todd Palin’s 87-year-old grandmother this week that offers a
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Tom Kizzia of the Anchorage Daily News wrote an interesting profile of Todd Palin’s 87-year-old grandmother this week that offers a glimpse at the ties between the Palins, whose story is like many white frontier families, and Native Alaskans.
Kizzia, who wrote a book on native rural village called “The Wake of the Unseen Object,” describes Lena Andree’s upbringing in rural Alaska. Her mother was a Yup’ik Alaskan and her father was a Dutch sled dog freighter, before the arrival of airplanes.
Andree’s heritage makes the governor’s children Native too — one-16th. Because of their heritage, Todd Palin and the Palin children are entitled to some government benefits, including comprehensive medical coverage, Kizzia reports.
After the vice presidential debate, we looked into Palin’s claim that she knows what it’s like for families “to sit around the kitchen table and try to figure out how are they going to pay out-of-pocket for health care.”
At the time, we noted that it looks likely that the Palin family could have had a good chance of qualifying for federal health care as Native Alaskans. Though the Palins may have decided never to apply, they had a realistic fall-back plan, unlike most Americans.
Now it looks even more certain that the Palins had an alternative if they were ever in a difficult financial position. Kizzia, an expert on Alaska Natives, says the family is not just eligible to apply, but actually “eligible for Indian health benefits under federal law, as lineal descendants of Native enrollees under the 1970 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.”
Palin’s attempts to present herself as the mother of a typical working-class family doesn’t work when it comes to health care.
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