Why Health Care Reform Cannot Wait

The Center for Rural Affairs' policy report entitled, Why Health Care Reform Can't Wait: The Benefits of Health Reform for Rural America (http://www.cfra.org/10/cant-wait) lays out a compelling argument why Congress must move health care reform forward. The health care debate has become mired in political posturing and rhetoric, obscuring the suffering of millions of rural Americans who are uninsured, underinsured or fighting a losing struggle to keep up with escalating health care costs.
For rural Americans as well as our farms, ranches, small businesses and communities, there is much to gain from health care reform as it passed both the House and Senate.  We have much to lose if Congress fails to move reform legislation forward.
Over the last two years the Center for Rural Affairs has worked to shed light on the unique health care challenges faced by rural Americans and the communities in which we live.  Rural Americans are more likely to be uninsured or underinsured than our urban brethren and, therefore, more likely to die simply because we lack health insurance.  We are more likely to be purchasing insurance in the high-cost, low-benefit, individual market because we are self-employed or own a small business.  And we are more likely to be served by a fragile health care delivery system stretched thin by serving too many people with too few health care providers.
Rural America's health care challenges will only get worse with inaction.  As Rev. Martin Luther King once wrote, "... 'Wait' has almost always meant 'Never.'..."

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