I really think that many producers have thrown in the towel and are of the mindset that what they do from this point forward really means nothing. It is my hope that isn’t the prevailing attitude since I think we have only seen the very tip of the iceberg and we know that doing nothing is to allow our industry to disappear. You can get involved simply by joining your professional organizations. If you are not a member of NAHU and NAIFA, shame on you. If you belong to one or the other, kudos for being partly involved, but please consider joining the other association. If you are a member of both, what are you doing to help those organizations gain a stronger voice? You see, now is the most important time to have your voice heard. Next year is an election year and we will all be overwhelmed with ads and information, some good but most, misleading. Now is the perfect time to get a clear message out to elected officials without the hype and hysteria that comes about every four years.

OCI recently joined the Nebraska Health Care Alliance and I would encourage each of you to consider doing so yourself. This Alliance has the purpose of ensuring that Nebraska develops its own exchange rather than allowing the Federal Government to impose one on our populace. Nebraskans have always had an ability to use common sense to solve problems and not to just throw money at them. If we decide to build an exchange for Nebraska, we know that exchange will do the job with the least amount of interference by government. If you have the same desire, go to http://nebraskahealthcarealliance.org and learn more about this grass roots effort. Encourage your clients, neighbors, friends, family, and physicians to also join. We need to show that Nebraskans can and will decide their own destiny when it comes to healthcare reform. We can do better than what we have seen from Washington.

While you are at it, contact your state senator and ask to help in educating them on health insurance and the importance of the local agent/broker. Together with other leaders of your communities, make opportunities to help educate those who want to learn why a state run exchange makes better sense. Speak at civic clubs, schools, churches, or any other events where people will gather. If you are not comfortable in speaking, let me know and I or someone from our office will speak. This is too important to let happen on its own. LET’S USE COMMON SENSE AND NOT DOLLARS AND CENTS!