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lnformat~onServ~ces,Inc (402) 342-3178

TRIBUNE WEDNESDAY WEEKLY

BURWELL, NE Clrculabon = 1437

07/01/2009

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I1 Uninsured Farm and --

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1 Ranch Families Feel Pinch

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of Health Care Costs ReporfJinds that uninsured Great Plains fanners and ranchers are being priced out of private health insurance market Lyons, NE - A new report released Wednesday, June 24 by The Access Project found that farm and ranch operators, like many self-employed Amencans, cannot afford the cost of health insurance offered to small business owners. While family farmers and ranchers are insured at a rate higher than the general population, still one in ten (10%) was uninsured, or had an unjns u ~ family d memkr, sometime during the previous year. The report, Who is Uninsured? is based gather& through the 2007 survey of farm and ranch operators in seven Great Plains states. The report found that uninsured farm and ranch operators were more likely to say that their principal occupation was farming or ranching than their insured counterparts. They also had lower incomes and were more likely to live alone. "Those most reliant on income derived from the family farm or ranch are least likely to be able to afford private health insurance," said Carol Pryor, lead author of the report and Policy Director at The Access Project. ''This threatens both their health and their livelihoods. Washington must act to develop alternatives to a private market that is unwilling o r unable t~ !- provide affordable protection to the self employed and small business owners." The survey found that more than one-third of the uninsured farm and ranch operators spent more than 10% of their income on health care costs. They were also four times more likely to have incomes under $20,000 than those with insurance. The Access Project's report is the fifth in a series of issue bri5fs based on a>2007 survey ! of f a m aid ranch operators in seven Great Plains states: Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota, The Access Project and its partners at Brandeis University and the University of North Dakota School of Medicine's Center for Rural Health contracted with the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service to survey more than 2,000 non-corporate farm and - ranch operators (those operating as sole proprietors or partnerships). The report finds that uninsured farmers and ranchers face much greater baniers to getting care and suffer higher levels of financial hardship than those with insurance. They delayed , needed care more than twice as frequently as those with insur, ante .. more than a third of the delayed care (34%) - uninsured versus 15% of the insured. Compared to the insured, the

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uninsured were also more likely to: Draw down resources, such as withdrawing money from savings or taking out loans, to pay j for health care (40% VS. 25%); ' Spend more than ten Per- ! cent of their income on health f care (34% vs. 29%); I Report that health care costs contributed to financial problems (32% VS. 22%); 'k c r u e medical debt (32% Versus 16%). While these figures demonstrate the challenges faced by uninsured farm and ranch op-erators,they cannot describe the . fear and frustration they face. Isa 'Kirk, WhQ owns a horse ranch i n ft South Dakota with her husband ?Jack, was uninsured when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. It was only because she Was able to get coverage from A11 LVomen Count, a Program run by the South Dakota Department of Health, and from Medicaid, that she was able to afford care. She said, "If not for All VJomell Count, Jack and I might have lost our home, ranch and livelihood due to medical bills." But now that she no longer qualifies for those Programs, she is once again uninsured. She said,"Wearedetermined tocontinue to live a healthy lifestyle and have faith, since it seems very unlikely for me to obtain health coverage, at least affordable coverage." Jon Bailey, Director of Rural Research and Analysis at the Center for Rural Affairs in Lyons Nebraska, noted that plans to reform the health care system nationally must take into account the needs of rural businesses and communities. "Health reform that continues to rely solely on the private insurance market and attempts to strengthen employerprovided insurance, no matter how regulated or reformed, will be irrelevant to a large number of rural people. If you want fanners to continue growing the food . for our fainilies,aiid if YOU want rural communitiii to thrive, then availability of affordable and q ~ a l i t yhealth insurance mUs[ be effectively addressed." The findings from this report raise questions regarding the availability and affordability of health insurance coverage,especially for those families without access to em~lo~er-based coverage. Their lack of insurance may not only put their health at risk, but also their businesses. The Access Project urges policymakers, as they work to reform Our nation's health care system, to consider options for expanding the availability of ComPrehensive insurance coverage and ensuring that this coverage is affordable for lower income families. The full report is available online at: ~ ~ w . ~ f r a . ~ r g / f i l e ~ AccessProject-2007-Health-Insurance-FamRanchSume~.~df

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UNIVERSAL

Information Services, Inc

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THURSDAY WEEKLY 'ARTHUR, NE i Circulabon = 357

07102/2009

Uninsured farm and ranch families feel pinch of health care costs

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--Report finds that uninsured Great Plains farmers and ranchers are being priced out of private health insurance market Lyons, NE - A new report released Wednesday, June 24 by The Access Project found that farm and ranch operators, like many self-employed Americans, cannot aftord the cost of health insurance offered to small business owners. While family fa[-rners and ranchers are insured at a rate highel- than the general population, still one in ten (10%) was uninsured, or had an uninsured family member, sometime during the previous year. The report, Who is Uninsured? is based on data gathered through the 2007 survey of farm and ranch operators in seven Great Plains states. The report found that uninsured farm and ranch operators were more likely to say that their principal occupation was farnling or ranching than their insured counterparts. They also had lower incomes and were more likely to live alone. "Those most reliant on ... ~~cofie--derived from the family farm or ranch are least likely to be ahle to afford private health insurance," said Carol PI-yor, lead author of the report and Policy Director at The Access Project. "This threatens both their health and their livelihoods. must act to develop alternatives to a private market that is unwilling or unable to provide affordable protection to the self employed and small busincss owners." The survey found that more than one-th~rdof the uninsured farm and ranch operators spent n;ore than 10 percent of their income on health care costs. They were also four times more likely to have incomes under $20,000 than those with insurance. The Access Project's report is the fifth in a series of issue briefs . . . , . . - I -

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based on a2007 survey of farm and for All Women Count, Jack and I ranch operators in seven Great might have lost our home, ranch Plains states: Iowa, Minneota, and Iivelihoi?d due to medic:;~l Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, bills." But now that she no North Dakota, and South L);tkota. longer qualifies for tirose proThe Access Project and its p;irtners grams, she is oncc again unin.at Brandeis ljniversity and the Uni- sulxd. She said. "We arc dcterversity of North Dakota School of' niincd to continue to live ;I Medicine's Center for Rural Health healthy lifestyle and havc faith, contracted with the USDA's since i t seems very unl~helyti)r National Agricultural Statistics Sel- me to obtain health coverage, at vice to survey more than 2.000 least affordable covera;~." non-corporaLe farm and ranch operJon Bailey. Dit c c l o ~c ~ R~lral f ators (those opa-ating as sole pl-o- Research iuid Analysis at the prietors or partnerships). Center 1'01- Rural Affairs in Lyons The report finds that unin- Nebraska, notcd that plans to sured farmers and ranchers face rel'orm the health cal-e systelil much greater ban-iers to getting nationally must t;lhc i r i l r ~;~ccc~unl care and suffer higher levels of' the ncecls ol'rural busi~lesscsant1 financial hardship than those communilies. "Hcitlt!i rcl'o~111 with insurance. Thcy delayed that continues to rely solely o n needed care more than twice as the pi-iviue ins~irnnccniarkct nrltl frequently as those with insur- attempts to strengthen cn~l)loj,cr ance - more than a third of the proviclc2,l inhurnnce. no m;rtti.i. uninsured delayed care (34 per- how regulated or refornietl. will cent) versus 15 percent of the be irrelevant to a I;rr;!e numtwi insured. Compared to tlic of rural l~eople. If you v+.ai;t insured, the uninsured were also farmers to contir~ucy o n . i ~ t gi i i ~ more likely to: Draw down food l'or our fa~nillcs.and il y ~ u resources, such as withdrawing want ru~.al conirnunilic\ ti) money from savings or taking thrive, rhcn avail;ti-~iiity o f out loans, to pay for health care affortlablc and quality Ilea!(h (40 percent v s 25 percent); #uianca must be effcctirci'y . . Spend more than ten percent of'' addressed." The findings from thih repijil their income on health care (34 percent vs. 29 percent); Report raise questions reg:irdi~ng the = that health care costs contributed availability and al'fordabilrtj of t to financial problems (32 percent health insurance coverage, cspcvs. 22 percent); Accrue medical cially for those familiea wirhi:iit debt (32 percent versus 16 per- access to employer-based i.clie!-age. Their lack of insur;incc nil~y cent). While these figures demon- not only put their hc'ilth a! r~si-, strate the challenges faced by but also their businesses. l'he uninsured farm and ranch opera- Access P~ujecturges pollcynlith-~n tors, they cannot deacribe the crs. as they work to ~ . e f o ~ our fear and frustration they face, nation's health care systrin. f i ) Isa Kirk, who owns u horse consider options for eup:critli~tg ranch in South Dakota with her the availability of co~npi-clicnhusband Jack, was uninsured sivc insur;~rice cc-tver;igc and when she was diagnosed with ensuring that this covcr:~gi' is cervical cancer. It was only afford;tblc f'cu louJel. in~.oi:le because she was ahle to get cov- firmilici. The full reptwt is ;t~.~ii,~t?Ie erage from All Women Count, n program run by the South D;lk,:- online at: ~~ww.cfr;i.oi.g!fiIcs! ta Department of IIe;~lth. and Acc~ess~'roject-:!O07-Iicalthfrom Medicaid, that she was ahle I n s u r a n c e - F a r n ~ K a n c i i S i ~ i \ / e y . to afford care. She said. "lf not pdt'.

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Quad-City Times Davenport,lA Circ. 57307 From Page: 4b 7/8/2009

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(Smallbusiness survey shows 1 need for health-care reform the survey found. John Arensmeyer, CEO of Small Business Majority, which conducted the survey, cited overwhelming support for the establishBy Charlotte Eby ment of a health insurance Times Bureau pool to create a marketplace where small businesses DES MOINES - Advoand individuals can choose cates for small businesses coverage. and rural interests have Arensmeyer said his released a survey they say shows the need for health- group is focused almost exclusively on health care care reforms that lower the now because its surveys in a cost of insurance. handful of states this spring The survey of 200 Iowa have found it is the most small business owners con- important issue facing ducted by Small Business smallbusinesses. Majority, an advocacy In Idwa, 70 percent of group, found that just businessespolled say 37 percent of the businesses health-care reform is paid for some part of the needed to get the economy health insurance bill for back on track. their employees. Jon Bailey, a research Of Iowa small businesses director at the Qnter for offering health insurance, Rural Affairs, said the 52 percent say they are resrdGof the survey clearly struggling to do so. Of demonstrate that the curthose that don't offer rent health insurance syshealth insurance, 85 pertem does not work for small cent say they can't afford it, businesses.

In Iowa, 70% say 1 change needed to help economy I

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*am~ 7th Ward,noted that the 'lty has budgeted a record$6 muchneededroadprojectsand

that the I- JOBSmoney will lboost the totalto l7million. The Davenport stop was one of severalmade Monday and Tuesday across eastern Iowa to promote .. the .

"They pay too much and receive toolittle in the way of quality and security:' Bailey said. The survey also sends a message to Congress that small businesses want a system that provides affordable, quality health coverage, including a public health insurance option, Bailey said. Reforming the health insurance system has significant consequences for the rural economy and rural development, Bailey said. The cost of healthinsurance prevents family farmers, ranchers and small businesses from expanding their business and creating jobs. "As the results of this survey demonstrate, the cost and inadequacy of health insurance is killing the entrepreneurialdreams and opportunities needed to reinvigorate much of m a 1 America:' Bailey said. recently passed bond initiative that the governor says will help prevent the state's unemployment level from rising. At 5.8 percent, the


Renvilkr County

Star Farmer News

Date Location C~rculatlon(DMA) Type (Frequency) Page: Keyword.

Thursday. July 09, 2009 OLIVIA, MN 1,600 (1 5) Newspaper (W) A5 Center For Rural Affairs

New guide available to help farmers and ranchers choose Elisha Greeley Smith

Center Affairs There are many farm bill programs that offeropportunities for farmen, ranchers and aspiring farmers and ranchers. The trick is being aware of these programs and being able to comprehend them. The Center for Rural Affairs' recently released guide, Farm Bill Programs for You and Your Community, is designed to provide farmers and ranchers information on farm bill programs that can help them

get started in farming or ranching, estabti!ih high-value niche markets, implement consewation-based farming or ranching systems as %*ellas transition to organic farming or ranching. The comprehensive guide provides information on 23 difierent farm bill programs that are targeted to help farmers, rnnchcrs and r u d pcople across the country. There are programs on conservation, crcdit and land acccss, rural dedopment and local food, research, laorticulture and organic, and risk management and outreacl~. Perhaps even morc valuablc for users is the resource wction at tlae end of the guide. It includes stare-bystate COIII;~CIY Tor govt:nllnc;lt

agencies, nonprofits and others in the know about haw programs can be accessed in each state. The free guide can be downloaded at: http://snfiv.cfra.org/node/ 19 17

Tlie Center is also aperating a Farm Bill Helpline where producers. can call in (402687-2 100) and receive assistance in accessing farm bill prosrams. People a= nlso encouraged to call the helpline to sham their experiences with the programs. It is critical that farmers and ranchers add their voices to this process SO these programs work effectively to serve their needs and the needs of their communities.

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2000 RENVLLE WUNTV REGISTER

All Rbhb R s r r v e d .

Account: 18200C (24661 ) MN-293 For reprlnb or rbhb, plsatemnledIhe publlshm


Date: Frequency: Circulation: Clip Size: Ad Rate:

NEWS ALBION, Nebraska

Wednesday, July 8,2009 WEEKLY 3200 43.05 sq. inches $3.6

Survey of state's small firms indicates health care concerns include:

Small Business Majority released their survey of Nebraska small business owners' attitudes re* health c a n reform. lLvo organization leaders, John Arensmeyer, founder and CEO of Small Business Majority, and Jon Bailey, Rural Research and Analysis director for the h m for Rural Affairs, commented in further detail on the s w e y results and took questions from media on a media conference call. Shirley McGinn, an Anselmo rancher and owner of a rural small busiiss in Broken Bow,also provided commentary about her health insurance experiences and answered questions on the call. A recent survey conducted by the Small Business Majority found that 63 percent of Nebraska small businesses say health care reform is important to getting the economy on track, while 70 percent supported the creation of an option to purchase health insurance from a public health insurance plan. Some 82 percent of those Nebraska small businesses not offering health insurance say they cannot afford to, while 72 pement of those who do offer it say they are struggling to do SO. "The results of this survey clearly demonstrate that the current health insurance system does not work well for small businesses. They pay too much and receive too little in the way of quality and security. The res u b also s d a clear message to Congress small businesses want a reformed system that provides affordable, quality health

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coverage that provides options that cover mom people and more businesses, including a public health insuranceoption," said Jon Bailey, director of Reseatch and Analysis at the Center for Rurd Affairs. According to Bailey, while rural businesses in the survey more strongly state that they cannot afford health coverage, as far as p r e f e d approachesto health can reform and important d o r m goals, there is no difference between rural and urban businesses. That includes dramatic support for inclusion of a public health insurance option in Congressional reform ppposals. 'The lack of availability of affordable and quality health insurance is the primary bamer to entrepreneurship reaching its potential for rival people and rural communities. The cost of health insurance prevents family farmers and ranchers, small businesses and entrepreneursfrom expanding their businesses and creating jobs. As this survey demonstrates, the cost and inadequacy of health insurance is killing the entrepreneurial b a r n s and opportunities needed to reinvigorate much of rural America," Bailey added. . KeyFlndi Nebraska small business owners view access to health insurance as a significant barrier to entrepreneurship, see reform as necessary and important to getting the economy .back on track, and see themselves as part of the solution, working together with the federal government. insurers and providers. Other key findings

The top concern for Nebraska small business owners in health care reform is controlling costs, followed by having coverage that is guaranteed and covers everybody. 82 penxnt of those businesses surveyed, not offering health insurance. say they can't afford to, while 72 percent of those who do offer it say they are struggling to do so. 80percent of smallbusinesses want toeliminatepreexisting condition rules, and 63 percent see these rules as a barrier to starting a business. 70 percent supported the choice of a private or public heal* insurance plan. 63 percent said health care reform is important to getting the economy hack on track. 51 said their company has a responsibility to provide health coverage for its employees. Small Business Majority is a national small business advocacy organization focused on health care reform. The organization conducts original scientific research exploring the experiences and opinions of small business owners .about health care reform throughout the nation, and projects this voice to policymakers through a network of small business spokespeople. The Center-$ was established in 1973 by rural Nebraskans concerned about family farms and rural communities, and we work to strengthen small businesses, family 'farms and ranches, and rural communities.

Universal Information Services , Inc. http://news.universaI-info.com Profile: 111 Center for Rural Affairs Recipient: John Crabtree

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DAILY SUN BEATRICE, Nebraska

Friday, July 10, 2009 DAILY 7998 20.42 sq. inches $9.6 A3

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Farm Bill programs offer opporttmities help them get started in farming or ranching, establish high-value niche There are many farm markets, implement conbill programs that offer servation based farming opportunities for farmers, or ranching systems as well ranchers and aspiring as transition to organic farmers and ranchers. The trick is being aware farming or ranching. The comprehensive of these programs and guide provides informabeing able to comprehend them. The ~ t a 4 x R u r a ltion on 23 different farm Affairs' recently released bill programs that are targuide, Farm Bill Programs geted to help farmers, for You and Your ranchers and ma1 people Community, is designed to across the country. There provide farmers and are programs on conservaranchers information on tion, credit and land farm bill programs that can access, rural development

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and local food, research, horticulture and organic,. and risk management and outreach. Perhaps even more. valuable for users is the resource section at the end of the guide. It includes state-by-state contacts for government agencies, nonprofits and others in the know about how programs can be accessed in each state. The free guide can be downloaded at:

The Center is also operating a Farm Bill Helpline where producers can call in (402-687-2100) and receive assistance in accessing farm bill programs. People are also encouraged to call the helpline to share their experiences with the programs. It is critical that farmers and ranchers add their voices to this process so these programs work effectively to serve their needs and the http://www.cfra.org/node needs of their communities. /I917

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Universal Information Services , Inc. http://news.universal-info.com Profile: 111 - Center for Rural Affairs Recipient: John Crabtree

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McCOOK, Nebraska

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July REAP hours in McCook ~ e Beck, h central and southwest Nebraska Business Specialist with the C e n t e r u r a l Affairs' Bural Enter~riseAssistance Project will hold office hours in McCook on July 24th. Hours will be 1:isp.m. until 2:45 p.m. McCook Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) will handle the appointments; (308) 345-1200. MEDC office is located at 301 Norris Avenue, Suite 200.

The Center for Rural Affairs' Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) and its services are available to rural communities across Nebraska. l3EAP offers technical assistance, educational and networking opportunities, and a loan program for small businesses. B U P is designed to assist all types of small businesses, including businesses with 5 or fewer employees, self-employed full-time, part-time, home-based, farmbased, start-up, and store-front businesses. BEAP has six regionally based Business Specialists across Nebraska. These Business Specialists can get involved in assisting entrepreneurs at various stages of their.husiness.progress. MEDC is pleased to partner with BEBP in order to offer an expanded list of services to businesses of all sizes.

Universal Information Services , Inc. http://news.universaI-info.com Profile: III - Center for Rural Ahirs Recipient: John Crabtree

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