Today, the Kansas Senate approved by a vote of 28 to 11 SB 32, a bill that will allow Kansas Farm Bureau to establish health care benefit that offers coverage specifically and solely for Farm Bureau members in Kansas.
“Health coverage costs for farmers and ranchers in Kansas is the most significant expense in their budgets,” says Terry Holdren, CEO/General Counsel of Kansas Farm Bureau. “We applaud Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle and those Kansas Senators who took a firm stand with Kansas farmers and ranchers today.”
At times health care costs represent 30 to 40 percent of annual budgeted expenses. Most do not qualify for federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidized products and many seek employment off the farm solely for the health care benefit. A recent study 65 percent of agriculture producers view health care as the number one threat to the future of their operation.
Preliminary research shows cost savings of greater than 30 percent for Kansans compared to health care options currently available to many farm and ranch families.
“Today, the Kansas Senate chose our farmers over a broken Obamacare system,” Susan Wagle, President of the Kansas Senate, says. “Senate Bill 32 provides critical relief to Kansans who are being crushed by skyrocketing premiums and deductibles by providing them with a more affordable health care option.”
“Today the Kansas Senate created a path for affordable health care for farmers and ranchers.” Sen. Rob Olson, chair of the Senate Committee on Financial Institutions and Insurance, says. “This was a vote for the future of our great state.”
If approved, the program will aim to reduce the number of uninsured Kansans by offering coverage at attractive premiums, and will create competition and free-market options for health coverage while supporting rural hospitals and providers.