"Catastrophic" outcomes for Montana farmers without healthcare - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

"Catastrophic" outcomes for Montana farmers without healthcare

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This week Montana Farmers Union is working in Washington D.C. with one goal in mind: to remind our nation's leaders of the importance of rural Montana.

One major push is for affordable, quality healthcare for our farmers. And that's something Montana Farmers Union president Alan Merrill says has become a major issue across the Treasure State. 

Any farmer can tell you their way of life consists of a balancing act of priorities. According to Merrill, one priority falling to the wayside is health insurance. Particularly with younger farmers. 

"One of them that they will cut out will be health insurance, because they're young, healthy 'I'm not going to get sick' kind of attitude. But if you do have an accident or anything, it can be catastrophic to your farming and your farming future," says Merrill.

So while America's healthcare future sits in limbo, nearly 400 farming representatives from around the country are gathered this week in D.C., in part to make legislators more aware of what rural America stands to lose. 

"The proposed cuts we heard about would drastically cut the rural hospitals out, they would not have any potential income. They would just disappear, and that would be catastrophic to rural Montana," says Merrill.

Merrill says combined with the low prices of wheat and other commodities, high health insurance premiums are something Montana farmers simply cannot deal with much longer. If you would like to express your opinions regarding healthcare in Montana, contact your representatives.  

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