From: Dr Mark L. Martin, D.O.
I recently attended the Current Farm Crisis program presented by the Land Stewardship Project. I knew there was a problem in the farming community, but was unaware of the depth of the problem. The statistics given made one both angry and sad. It was reported that the 2018 median farm income for U.S. farm households was a negative $1,533 and that 70 percent of the total farm family income is from off farm sources. And for the past six years, more than half of the farms and ranches have lost money.
There are multiple reasons for this — such as low commodity prices, the trade war with China, and high and rising input costs. While there is not much that we can do concerning commodity prices and tariffs, one area in which we can help is with the cost of health care. Many people, especially self-employed and not just farmers, are having a hard time with the cost of health insurance. One option is to allow any self-employed person to buy into Minnesota Care and pay the full premium price if one makes over the allowable income limit. This allows people to buy basic health care coverage at a reasonable cost.
Therefore, I am encouraging everyone to contact their elected representatives to ask them to back the initiative to allow self-employed residents of Minnesota to be allowed to purchase Minnesota Care insurance.