Today the Center for Rural Affairs launched an array of resources to help answer many of the questions and concerns people have regarding the federal Affordable Care Act.

“October 1st marked an historic day for health care access in the United States, the day health insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act opened for business,” said Jon Bailey, director of research and analysis at the Center for Rural Affairs.“While the online marketplaces, or exchanges, have experienced difficulties that were not altogether unexpected, it is important to remember, this is just the beginning, individuals have through the end of March to sign up in this enrollment period.”

“We urge the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to fix the problems in the federal exchange immediately. It is simply unacceptable for this system not to work properly, there are too many working families, especially here in rural and small town America, counting on a working exchange for access to affordable health insurance,” Bailey continued. “At the same time, we urge everyone to stay calm and stay the course, there will be plenty of time for the exchanges to be fixed and for individuals to enroll through the online insurance marketplaces.”

According to Bailey, the Center for Rural Affairs is also offering informational presentations on the nation’s new health care law at multiple locations around Nebraska. A listing of those presentations is available on the Center’s health care resource page at
“We have been invited to hold presentations in half a dozen small towns in Nebraska and as long as we have the resources, we’ll keep accepting as many invitations as we can because we know how vitally important reliable information is, not only to people seeking affordable health insurance, perhaps for the very first time, but also to the economic future of America’s small towns and rural areas.”
On October 15th, Bailey presented information on the Affordable Care Act in Ashland, Nebraska, at an event sponsored by the Ashland Chamber of Commerce. He discussed the basics of the Affordable Care Act and in particular the new health insurance marketplaces. He discussed how the marketplaces work, how they will help people, and what assistance is available to help people navigate the new health insurance system.
“There were a lot of questions out there, mostly about how people will be covered based on their personal circumstances,” Bailey said. “I expect that in upcoming presentations there will be a lot of questions from people who are buying insurance in the new marketplace, and we’ll be talking about some of the basics with what’s in the law and what the new health insurance exchanges mean. They opened up on Oct. 1, so we’ll talk about what people can expect on how they work and what they need to have when they go online.”
Bailey added that public information about the new health care act has been lacking, which has led to a lot of confusion.
“I think there are so many sources of information and different spins on the information, that it seems to create more questions and confusion,” Bailey concluded. “A lot of it depends on where people get their information and what they take in, and we’re trying to give a fact-based presentation, with no politics and no spin on the law at all, and talk about what’s in it and how it will affect people.”
For more information about hosting an Affordable Care Act presentation in your community visit or contact the Center for Rural Affairs directly at 402.687.2100