News

Affordable Care Act provisions are still intact, open enrollment ends today

As I sit and write my second blog post (see the first here), I think about all that has happened since my previous post. Open Enrollment for plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace is coming to a close, and the deadline to enroll is 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 31, 2017. Social media, television and printed press has been flooded with news about the new administration and what’s in store for our nation over the next several years. We’ve had the inauguration ceremony, and our new President has been sworn into office.

You made our holiday giving a success

Now that you’ve had a chance to recover from the holidays, I want to extend a warm thank you to all of our great donors who have helped to make our end-of-year fundraising efforts the most successful we’ve ever had.

Starting in October and including our Giving Tuesday and holiday efforts, you and other grassroots donors contributed nearly $117,000 to help fund our efforts for the upcoming year. Your remarkable generosity will drive our successes in 2017 and help with important issues we expect to face.

Unicameral Update - week of Jan. 23

Welcome back to the Center for Rural Affairs Unicameral Update. We are returning to provide legislative updates from a rural perspective. The 2017 session is a “long” session – legally mandated to be 90 days in length. The Legislature opened on Jan. 4, 2017, and is tentatively scheduled to adjourn on June 2, 2017.

The deadline for bill introduction was Jan. 18. Each bill introduced will be heard in one of 14 standing committees. Committee hearings begin in mid-January and last through early March.

Below is a selection of priority bills we are following.

Digital divide in rural America

Access to the internet. The internet is now considered a basic human right; it is how people find employment, handle their finances, receive an education, work, and receive medical care.

However, not everyone is able to use the internet to its full potential, due primarily to slow speeds. Rural areas are at a disadvantage when it comes to accessing broadband.

Expanding infrastructure into rural areas will improve health outcomes for residents by allowing access to specialists, increasing cost efficiency, and raising quality of care.

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