JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Turning a profit, season after season, is at the forefront of every farmer's mind. And while helping to make that happen is a top priority for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack claims, healthcare reform is also at the top of their "things to do" list.
"Only 23% of those in towns of less than 2500 are insured across the country," said Vilsack. "Those who do have insurance end up paying more for it, so it's important that even for all the things we're doing through the farm bill, that we also accomplish in healthcare reform."
Vilsack believes the president's plan will cause competition and bring insurance costs down, as well as provide better coverage for farmers and their families.
"If we wait, as some have suggested, 14-thousand more people will not have coverage every day," said Vilsack. "If we don't get reform, we will spend far more on healthcare, making our businesses far less competitive."
Vilsack claims healthcare reform is essential to the future of farm family success.
"They often have to go outside to pay for healthcare," said Vilsack. "45% of farmers work 200 days are more, to pay for health insurance for them and their family. "Essentially they are working two full time jobs and it's amazing how productive our farmers are, providing us with safe and relatively inexpensive food."
Vilsac says healthcare reform will ultimately provide a boost to the bottom line of America's farmers and their families.