This should be of interest to EVERY Congressional Representative of either party from Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and Minnesota, the main corn growing states. From Rural Wire via Daily Kos
Keith Bolin, President of the American Corn Growers Association (ACGA) called upon the U.S. Congress to pass healthcare reform legislation this year.
"There are a multitude of reasons that ACGA supports healthcare reform, but I wish to focus on two key reasons that have yet to be discussed – international competitiveness and jobs," said Bolin.
"Because of dozens of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements ratified by Congress over the past quarter century, America’s farm and ranch families now compete in a global economy," explained Bolin. "We are constantly seeking to keep ‘a level playing field’ on which to compete in this global economy. But when we review issues that tilt that playing field of competition, healthcare must be addressed. Looking across the northern U.S. border to farm families in Canada, which come as close to U.S. farming practices as any of our other international competitors, we find that they have a sizable competitive advantage because of their national healthcare system. We must have better healthcare options if we are to successfully compete with the Canadians as well as the Europeans and farmers in all other countries with national healthcare programs."
"As for how healthcare impacts jobs in rural America, I can tell you that more times than not, a farm spouse must take a job in town just in order to acquire healthcare coverage for the farm household," added Bolin. "I can attest that there is always plenty for both spouses to do on the farm but more importantly the off-farm job taken by a farmer is a good job or it would not have healthcare benefits. Therefore, that farm spouse is taking a job from someone else just because of the healthcare benefits. When viable healthcare option is provided to farm households, those good off-farm jobs would be available to others in our rural communities."
Bolin’s request follows ACGA’s annual business meeting held last week in Sioux City, Iowa, where the Board of Directors passed a resolution supporting national healthcare reform, including a public option. ACGA’s resolution on the pending healthcare legislation states;
ACGA believes that it is of critical importance that Congress pass meaningful national health care reform in 2009. Such legislation should include a public option to provide real completion in the health insurance industry. The nation’s farmers and the United States as a whole can no longer avoid this issue from either a moral or international competitiveness perspective.