American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman is urging all members of the House to stand with the nation's farmers and ranchers and oppose H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act. In a letter to House members, Stallman said that health insurance costs are an ongoing and significant expense for agricultural employers, and health care reform must not unduly burden farm and ranch businesses with costs they can't afford.
"While tax incentives in the bill are designed to help small employers cover health care expenses, there are no allowances for seasonal workers common to our industry," Stallman said. "We are opposed to an employer mandate and view an 8% payroll tax imposed for non-coverage as excessive and as burdensome as mandated coverage."
Stallman wrote that Farm Bureau believes that health care is primarily the responsibility of individuals, and they are opposed to provisions in the bill that mandate individual coverage. Also, Farm Bureau supports private, market-based reforms and is opposed to the creation of a government-operated health insurance program.
"We believe that the creation of an exchange where individuals and businesses can easily compare and purchase privately offered insurance will encourage the competition necessary to bring about cost savings," Stallman said.