WEST BURLINGTON - U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-2nd District, was in southeast Iowa on Monday to talk about the rural economy and the big issues facing the state's farmers. The focus during a meeting with Des Moines County Farm Bureau members was on the farm bill and the nation's locks and dams. But there was another pressing federal issue that has been causing concern among farmers: the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. "Everybody is scared to death. How's it (health care reform) not affecting rural America?" said Rob Mohr of the Des Moines County Farm Bureau. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service, more U.S. farm families have health insurance than the average population. Farmers are insured at a rate of 90.7 percent, as of 2011, whereas 84.3 percent the general population is insured. At least a majority of the 57 percent of farmers who get employment-based insurance do so through an operator or spouse who works off the farm. In total, 17.1 percent of farm families get insurance through private-direct purchase, which are the population most likely to be affected by the changes in the Affordable Care Act. Leroy Lippert, a Des Moines County Farm Bureau member, told Loebsack he has a neighbor who learned last week her insurance had been canceled. Loebsack asked Lippert if he knew why the plan had been canceled. Lippert said he did not know, and then questioned what is affordable. He said young farmers, who are healthy, may prioritize health coverage lower than all of their other financial responsibilities. Loebsack asked what happens if or when those people get sick. "I don't know what's going to happen. I really don't," Lippert replied. John Sandbothe, regional manager of the Iowa Farm Bureau, gave another example of a young, self-employed farmer whose insurance costs are expected to increase more than 100 percent by moving to the exchange. Sandbothe also questioned whether farm families will have to repay subsidies received when a family member dies because of the assets they have. When Loebsack started to ask more details and Sandbothe wasn't sure of further specifics, Loebsack said to have any farmers with concerns call his office to help navigate what their issues may be. "That's why we're here," he said. "We'll answer whatever questions you guys have, and we'll find the answers." Lippert also raised a couple of questions about Medicare, the federal health insurance for people age 65 and older. He said it's been his experience that during the past 10 years insurance costs have continued to increase. Separately, farmers at an event in Wever asked questions about national security efforts abroad. John Sander, a farmer near Farmington, said part of the problem is the U.S. declared war in Iraq and Afghanistan, spent money bombing the countries, and now is spending more money to rebuild what had been bombed. "And yet, there are so many needs in this country that money could be used for," Sander said, asking if our country is any safer because of the war effort and if the people in those other countries are any safer. "We need to, I guess, get back to what made our country what it was." Loebsack said he supports a quicker time table for removing American troops from Afghanistan. Loebsack, who did not support a limited intervention in Syria, also explained progress has been made in removing chemical weapons from the Middle Eastern country without any military intervention.