Rising health care costs create problems for Mo. farmers

Thursday, September 25, 2008 | 5:26 p.m. CDT; updated 11:43 a.m. CDT, Thursday, September 3, 2009

COLUMBIA — A new study shows that rising health care costs are a key factor among Missouri farmers who face financial struggles.

A survey of farmers and ranchers released Thursday by the nonprofit Missouri Rural Crisis Center shows that one in five reported financial problems caused in part by spiraling health care costs. Many of those farmers struggle with paying farm loans and take second jobs off the farm to make ends meet.

The study recommends that state policymakers consider several reforms such as limits on deductibles or health insurance pools for farmers and other small businesses.

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