March 23, 2019

More Bad News for Rural America

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Guest post by Jim Beers

With all of the winds currently buffeting rural America from government wolves and state governments becoming federal contractors for federal intrusions to federal land and water controls; a new wrinkle has been added. When federal politicians talk about “redistributing wealth”, who knew one of the “redistribution” vehicles for rural wealth would be federal health legislation? Not me.

Minnesota is a state that apparently seldom questions government growth of any sort, so it is not surprising that we formed one of the first state health care exchanges called MNsure as the federal Obamacare legislation rolls forward. A recent newspaper article explains the expected differences in cost for Minnesotans divided into 9 “regions”.

Under the MNsure rules and charges, the Twin Cities to St. Cloud corridor (our most urban and most populous region) will be charged a monthly premium of $634 for a family of four. All other (rural Minnesota) regions will be charged $668, $704, $742, $816, $854, and $1,200 respectively. These very significant differences are mysteriously credited to nonsense like “people might be sicker in some regions”, “doctors in some regions might opt for treatments that are more or less expensive” and “differences in the prices that different health care providers get paid for performing the same service”.

Dismissing all the associated smoke and mirrors; rural Minnesotans, and most likely all rural Americans as Obamacare becomes the only game in town, are embarking on a massive transfer of wealth to urban precincts in their state. This is yet another result of this Red/Blue – Rural/Urban voting shift in our country. Federal schemes from wolves to healthcare are at base thinly veiled political pandering for votes in concentrated urban precincts. Giving them more and more government services and the granting of their imaginary environmental dreams in rural precincts (despite the harms to farmers, ranchers, hunters, dog owners, parents, and rural economies) are what keep federal politicians and their parties in power.

Recognizing what is happening and why it is happening is the first step. The second step is seeing what must be done. The third step is doing it despite the names they call you and the accusations they hurl at you. Freedom is never cheap and rights must always be protected. Rural Americans have been in the crosshairs long enough. Transferring wealth for health is right up there with destroying a village to save it.

Jim Beers
20 Sep. 2013

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