In a split 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has voted to uphold the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. Two major farm groups were also split in their evaluation of the decision, with the American Farm Bureau and National Farmers Union both issuing statements yesterday.
“Farmers, ranchers and rural residents need affordable and accessible health care. We remain concerned that mandating individuals and businesses to buy insurance will impose an expense that creates economic hardship, particularly for self-employed individuals and small businesses.
“We believe one of the primary goals of health care reform should be to reduce costs for participants. The plan reviewed by the Supreme Court would impose a new financial burden on our members. As the legal and political interpretation of this ruling is further analyzed and debated in the weeks and months ahead, it is important to remember that access to affordable health care eludes many American families across the country.
Stallman went on to say he hopes Congress and the President work together to solve some of Farm Bureau’s concerns about the law.
“Farmers, ranchers and rural residents face significant barriers to obtaining accessible, affordable health care. The ACA contains significant, necessary reforms that help all Americans, including those who are self-employed and purchasing expensive care from the individual market, afford insurance and the preventive care they need; provides resources to rural health care providers and incentives to physicians serving in rural areas; bars health care companies from denying coverage to individuals with preexisting conditions; and closes the Medicare prescription drug coverage ‘donut hole.’
“All Americans deserve health care that is comprehensive, affordable and accessible, regardless of occupation or geographic area. NFU commends the Supreme Court on its decision to uphold the ACA, and looks forward to continuing to work with the administration to ensure the law is implemented as written.”