Already on the margins of income, new farmers face an especially challenging prospect when it comes to budgeting for health insurance.
The good people over at Vermont Public Radio recently did a show on the difficulties of trying to navigate the world of health care for farmer businesses.
UVM rural sociologist and researcher Shoshanah Inwood says when they asked farmers about issues they faced she expected to hear about cost of land, inputs, neighbors, but was surprised to learn that health care was on all the participants minds.
“The number one issue facing farmers was the cost of health insurance. They identified that as the biggest threat to their farm,” she said.
“Well, how many people know a farmer that has an injury? Or a farm family that has a chronic health issue? Or a mental health issue?’ And everybody’s hand goes up,” Inwood said. “And that’s the one issue we really never talk about, are some of those social needs that farm families have.”
Let’s just say this now: health care as a right not a privilege!
You can hear the VPR interview with farmer Taylor Hutchinson (Footprint Farm) and read the full article here
We are so grateful to Shoshana Inwood, an assistant professor at UVM, for drawing attention to the struggles that young farmers face when it comes to procuring health care and starting a family. This won’t be news to any farmers in the audience, but it is worth sharing widely to raise more awareness– especially with Congress reeling to repeal the ACA. We stand to lose what little access to health care we already have. Motivated? Call your senator today!
The House of Representatives will vote Wednesday on a measure to repeal the health care bill that was passed last year. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says that while it appears the repeal has support in the House, the Senate and President Obama do not support it.
“So the question is ‘Why are we doing this?'” Vilsack said. “Why are we looking backwards? Why aren’t we focusing on job growth? Why aren’t we focusing on reducing the deficit?” (more…)