Issues for One-Third of U.S. Farmers Without Health Insurance Examined
The Wilmington News Journal/USA Today on Tuesday examined the 32% of farmers who do not have health insurance. According to the News Journal/USA Today, rising premiums have boosted the ranks of uninsured farmers in recent years, and risks associated with not having health insurance are higher for farmers than for other workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, farming is one of the 10 most dangerous professions, with higher risks for work-related injuries and non-fatal injuries. In addition, the workplace and home are "inextricably linked" for farmers, with land and large machinery subject to being claimed by creditors if bills are not paid, according to News Journal/USA Today. Many farmers take jobs off of the farm to obtain affordable health insurance benefits. Robert Baker, president of the Delaware Farm Bureau, said, "It's a very big concern. I don't know if you can classify it as a crisis, but it's close to it" (Tadesse/Goldblatt, Wilmington News Journal/USA Today, 3/23).
CNN's "Lou Dobbs Tonight" on Monday in the first segment of a series titled, "Middle Class Squeeze: Health Care in America," reported on the number of U.S. residents without health insurance. The segment includes comments from Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, and Stuart Schear, senior communications officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The second segment of the series, which will air Tuesday, will examine practices that some hospitals use to bill uninsured patients (Sylvester, "Lou Dobbs Tonight," CNN, 3/22). The complete transcript of the first segment is available online.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.