Uncouple Rural Health Care Access from Employment

Uncouple Rural Health Care Access from Employment

Rural healthcare access may seem far from a water protection issue. But repeatedly we’ve been told that it’s critical for enabling farmers to do more conservation work on their land. The reason is that water stewardship work takes a lot of time and effort. Grazing and perennial agriculture have huge environmental benefits but require more continuous attention. It’s extremely common for small-to-midsize farmers to have a second job or a partner who works off farm for access to health insurance. The low number of clinics in rural Wisconsin further pushes healthcare out of reach.

Improving the affordability of public insurance options, decoupling insurance from employment, and building more rural medical facilities would make it possible for more farmers to focus on farming, to resist the pressure to sell out to larger operations, and to invest in the health of their soil and water.