In rural Wisconsin, nurses come to the farm

Posted Saturday, December 21, 2013 --- 3:54 p.m.

SHAWANO, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin program sends nurses to farms to make sure farmers get basic preventive health care.

The Rural Health Initiative serves three central Wisconsin counties where dairy farming is big.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 36 percent of U.S. dairy farmers lacked health insurance in 2011. That compares to 9 percent of all farmers and about 16 percent of the general population. Many have to buy their own insurance.

Farmers like 53-year-old Kevin Ainsworth say the situation is unlikely to change with the new health care law. He just bought an insurance policy for his family with a $5,000 deductible because that's what he can afford.

Ainsworth says if not for the initiative, he probably wouldn't seek medical care unless he had a significant injury.


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