Rural Health News

What Could Medicaid Expansion Mean to Your State?

If given the opportunity to save money and also help their residents be healthier, should state governments take it?

When the Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Care Act earlier this summer, it decided that states could choose whether to expand their Medicaid program to more uninsured people. You might be curious how this choice could impact your state and community.

A Tale of Two Businesses

I recently returned from Montana, where intern Matt Gunther and I spent a lot of time driving. We called it a “storytelling roadtrip”. We traveled the requisite long distances in this majority-rural state to talk with and listen to people. Health care was a hot topic that we discussed from living room to living room, over coffee, and in the middle of the pasture. People laid out their lives and their hopes for reform.

Will Health Insurance Exchanges Be Worth the Wait?

Photo of Jane Yule
Jane Yule, nurse practitioner and rural health advocate. Source: Kat Shiffler
Jane Yule is a nurse practitioner working in rural Nebraska. I met Jane at a recent public meeting about health care exchanges – something she hopes will make a difference in the lives of her uninsured patients.

We learned that they’ll work similar to a farmers market: a neutral place where insurers lay out their plans and consumers shop and compare. The goal is universal access to high-quality, affordable insurance.

“As individuals we don’t have any leverage at all in terms of marketplace competition to get better rates,” she said. Jane is hoping the exchange will push down prices and give her patients some options. Often small businesses and the self-employed simply can’t afford the costs of private insurance.


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