Growing up on a farm in northwest Iowa, I remember my parents searching for affordable health insurance for our family. Often they could only find plans that covered too little and still cost too much, leaving our family to pay high premiums while still paying most medical bills out of pocket.
For Iowa's small business owners and family farmers, relief from this system of unaffordable and unpredictable health care is on the way.
The flurry of misinformation around the new health care law is clouding the reality that reform is providing relief to many small business owners.
Health care costs for small businesses have risen 129% since 2000 and contribute significantly to the high rates of uninsured rural residents. Less than half of U.S. small businesses can afford to help their employees pay for health insurance.
So, just how does the new law impact small businesses?
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.
In May we outlined key provisions that will go into effect immediately, including state-based high risk pools that cover people who have pre-existing conditions and have been uninsured for six months.