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Maura Bennett Nationwide Survey of Farmers and Ranchers Part 1
by Maura Bennett, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: August 03, 2017

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American farmers and ranchers say they are concerned about the uncertainty of healthcare and how the outcome of health legislation will affect them.

A broad survey of ag producers across the country, living both in states with expanded medicaid and those without, has unveiled that health insurance is critical to their enterprise

Shoshana Inwood at the University Vermont led the USDA study:

“The vast majority of farmers and ranchers told us that health insurance is part of their risk management strategy. And they want health insurance that is affordable and easy to use. That’s both important for their business and their families. One of the other interesting components of this that we weren’t anticipating is that farm families are prioritizing health insurance and the vast majority are insured and it’s primarily from an off farm employer. That can take time and energy away from the farm enterprise.”

72 percent of those surveyed had an off farm job and over half of those people were working in the public sector health, education and government, for the insurance. So decisions about public sector benefits will reverberate throughout farm communities across the country.

We will continue the discussion in our next report and find out why the researchers say health insurance and its impact on rural communities is a national security issue

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