Rural Health

We work with you to promote policy that makes health insurance affordable for small businesses, entrepreneurs and family farmers and ranchers and to ensure policy supports small town doctors, clinics and hospitals.

Rural people have less access to health networks and health care providers, greater rates of disability and chronic diseases, and higher use of all public health care programs. Because of high rates of self-employment and small business employment, rural Americans have lower rates of employer-provided benefits. We're more likely to be underinsured or uninsured for longer periods of time. The 50 million people in rural America are most in need of health care system reform. And we have much to contribute to any reform debate.

Health care is also a major barrier to rural economic development that creates genuine opportunity and reduces poverty. Micro-enterprise and small business development is the most effective path in many communities for low and moderate-income rural people to pull themselves out of poverty. But if small entrepreneurs cannot gain affordable access to health care for themselves or their employees, that path is blocked. Any hope of building genuine economic opportunity for struggling rural Americans through entrepreneurship must be accompanied by reforming the health care system in a way that benefits both small business owners and their employees.

For more information on how the Affordable Care Act will work for you, your business or your community visit this page.

Get Covered Calculator: Estimate Your Costs - calculate your estimated monthly health insurance cost.
Healthcare Exchange Calculator in Spanish - from the Kaiser Family Foundation website.

Confused about health care options? Get a Health Care 101 here

Rural Health Notes

 

Nebraska Medicaid Redesign Act (LB 472), April 2015

The Medicaid Redesign Act, or LB 472, would provide health insurance coverage through the state’s Medicaid program to those in the coverage gap. People crash into the gap when they make too much income to qualify for traditional Medicaid coverage but not enough to qualify for premium assistance tax credits through the health insurance marketplace, and they lack access to employer-provided insurance.

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For Pete's Sake

The Legislature recently voted to delay LB 472, the Medicaid Redesign Act, until the 2016 session. While the bill is still alive, this means another year without access to health insurance for up to 77,000 Nebraskans, another year of health consequences that inaction will demand of them, and another year our rural hospitals are in financial jeopardy.
 
What’s more discouraging is the absolute lack of a reasonable alternative plan to provide access to health insurance for these Nebraskans.
 

Pesticide Use and Depression in Farmers

Organic farming may be as important to the farmers who practice it as to those who purchase and eat the food they grow. This year, researchers with the National Institute of Health completed a landmark, 20-year study of the connection between pesticides and depression in farmers.
 

Nebraska’s Health Care System Can Handle LB 472

One of the arguments used against providing access to health insurance for modest-income, working Nebraskans through LB 472, the Medicaid Redesign Act, is that those newly eligible for health insurance would swamp our health care system. In fact, the exact opposite is true.