Health Care Reform: How to Stay Involved

Passing the new health reform law was just the beginning of knocking down barriers to affordable and quality care for many rural people. While the federal law provides necessary tools for implementing crucial changes, much of the real work will happen at the state level. In many ways, the work has just begun. Your voice will continue to shape the future of rural health care.

Here are a few ways to be engaged in your state:

  1. Sign up for the Center for Rural Affairs Newsletter to get updates on what’s happening on rural issues in health reform.

  2. Reach out to state leaders. Contact your state legislators and encourage their support of health reform, including changes that need to happen at the state level. Provide them useful materials (we can provide these!) and encourage your neighbors to do the same. You can also talk with your insurance regulators and their staff to learn how they plan to implement certain provisions of the new law, such as the high risk pool. Will your state build on an existing high risk pool, start a new program, or rely on the federal government to operate it? Which option is best for your community members?

  3. Read the Center for Rural Affairs reports on health reform.

  4. Spread the word. Talk about health reform with your friends and family, church and community. Emphasize how health reform will impact people in your community.

  5. Contact us. We want to know what you’re hearing in your communities about health reform. What questions are people asking? What resources do you need to help answer your neighbor’s questions? We’ll provide you resources and answers to your questions, and advise you on other ways to be involved in your state. We can send you health care fact sheets and useful reports that describe the benefits of reform to distribute at upcoming meetings.