Rural Healthcare Initiative

MRCC is focused on continuing to organize, advocate and increase greater support among rural Missourians for policies that expand access to quality, affordable healthcare for farm and rural families and every Missourian.

Rural Missourians face unique healthcare challenges—we have older populations, lower incomes and less access to healthcare services—and routinely travel more than an hour to reach doctors for routine care and emergency services. Additionally, rural and farm families have less access to employer sponsored health insurance and often face higher insurance costs. When farm and rural families do have access to health insurance, they pay more. According to MRCC’s 2007 study, “Healthcare in the Heartland”, farmers were more reliant on the individual, private marketplace than the population at large (30% vs. 8%), and farmers relied on the costliest types of policies with high out-of-pocket costs and little coverage.

Without Medicaid Expansion, Missouri’s rural hospitals have faced deep cuts, layoffs and three closures to date. Each year, Missouri hospitals, which rely heavily on Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, have to absorb about $1.2 billion dollars in uncompensated care. Cuts to our safety net programs—Medicare and Medicaid—would mean not only more people living under the stress of life without health insurance, but also more hospital services being cut and hospital doors closing, the loss of jobs from healthcare and support sectors, and an increased financial burden on the state and taxpayers to cover more uncompensated, expensive care—even for conditions that could be managed or prevented with regular access to healthcare services.  

In June, MRCC was awarded the 2017 Health Advocacy Organization of the Year—“In recognition of your outstanding achievement and leadership in advocating for affordable, quality healthcare for the citizens of Missouri”—by the Missouri Health Advocacy Alliance. 2017 has been a busy year for MRCC as we continue to make healthcare one of our top priorities and see firsthand the importance of access to quality, affordable healthcare—no matter what your zip code is.

Highlighting MRCC’s Current Healthcare Projects:

Through MRCC’s Rural Healthcare Phonebanks this spring, MRCC volunteers had 700 conversations about healthcare with rural Missourians in 39 counties across our state. These conversations helped us identify which healthcare issues rural Missourians care about most, including protecting pre-existing conditions, addressing the Medicare Part D doughnut hole and keeping kids on their parents’ insurance until the age of 26. Please contact us if you can participate in our healthcare phonebanks—either out of our office in mid-MO or mobile phonebanks where we come to your town.


MRCC’s Advocacy Workshops equip people with the knowledge and tools to participate in healthcare advocacy, including how to write letters-to-the-editor, organize local meetings and become MRCC healthcare leaders in their own communities. Moving forward, we are looking forward to rolling out these workshops across Missouri!

Corporate, Monopolistic Control of Our Healthcare—Did you know that pharmaceutical corporations have two lobbyists for every member of Congress? And, nationwide, about 1/3 of Americans do not get the healthcare they need because it is too expensive. MRCC is working to highlight the monopolistic control and the corporate takeover of our healthcare system (and, increasingly our democratic system in general) and what we have the power to change.

MRCC is partnering with other local groups to host documentary screenings of “Big Pharma: Market Failure” and “Fix It: Healthcare at the Tipping Point”. These films look at the role that pharmaceutical corporations and insurance companies play in driving up healthcare costs to make enormous profits, all without having to be accountable to their customers and the public. The documentary screenings are followed by a panel of experts who guide a group discussion about what we can do to take power away from corporations and their lobbyists, and instead have a democratic system that works for us and our health, communities and economies.

We are committed to protecting the health and well-being of farm and rural families & rural economies. We know that local communities know best what their healthcare needs are—and we want to hear from YOU about what healthcare policies you support.  

Please get in touch with Dina at or (573) 449-1336 if you want to share your healthcare story, join any of our healthcare projects, or have an event in your community!