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Articles written by Johnathan Hladik

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  • Civility needed before, during, and after election day

    Johnathan Hladik Policy Director, Center for Rural Affairs|Oct 19, 2022

    Discussion and debate has always been a part of rural America. From coffee shops to the local co-op, rural residents aren't afraid to show their loyalty for one candidate or another, share their thoughts on the issues of the day, and voice their distrust of the government. Sometimes opinions can spur disagreement and raise tensions. But, in the end, most of us will agree to disagree, shake hands, and go about our day. Lately, this seems to have changed. The divisive politics of Washington have...

  • SNAP spending and the rural economy

    Johnathan Hladik, Center for Rural Affairs|Dec 1, 2021

    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is often misunderstood as favoring urban residents over rural. Formerly known as food stamps, a new study analyzing this program shows the opposite may be true. SNAP provides nutrition assistance payments to one in eight Americans every month. Approximately 16% of rural households use SNAP benefits, compared to 13% of metro households. In those rural households, a large majority of benefits assist vulnerable populations, including children, seniors, and people with disabilities. The...

  • Rural communities could benefit from water, broadband infrastructure funding

    Johnathan Hladik|Nov 17, 2021

    The newly passed infrastructure package approved by Congress last week promises to reach every corner of the country, and for rural America, funding for water and sewer, broadband internet, and electrical projects could have the most impact. An $11.7 billion annual increase for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds will assist small towns in making much-needed drinking water and sewage system upgrades. The federal-state partnership provides low-interest loans to eligible communities to improve their drinking water supply,...

  • It's time for Congress to step up for rural businesses, communities

    Johnathan Hladik|Aug 26, 2020

    Small businesses continue to feel the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. While they are doing their best to keep the doors open, they are hurting. That is especially true in our rural towns. Congress has acted to provide businesses with loans through the Small Business Administration six months of payment forgiveness. This is a lifeline for big city enterprises, but it doesn’t help rural entrepreneurs. That is because many rural businesses do not have access to an SBA lender and must borrow from a USDA Rural Development program instead. On A...

  • Take medical coverage beyond the gap

    Johnathan Hladik|Mar 2, 2016

    The Affordable Care Act was signed into law six years ago this month. The uninsured rate is now 11.9 percent, the lowest ever recorded. Approximately 17 million more Americans have health insurance today than before the law was passed. Hospitals across the nation have saved tens of billions of dollars on uncompensated care. Despite this progress, over five million Americans remain unable to access health insurance because they fall into the “coverage gap.” These individuals make too much income to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to be eli... Full story