Investing In Rural America
“Family farms are being crushed by failed Washington policies and giant agribusinesses, and many rural communities lack access to health care and fast, reliable internet. Our rural communities are being cut off from opportunities to thrive, and I have a plan to fix it.” – Elizabeth Warren
WHAT THIS IS ABOUT
Rural communities are home to 60 million people–including tribal nations, a growing number of new immigrants, and rural communities of color.
Rural America feeds our nation and is leading the country in sustainable energy, but both corporate America and leaders in Washington have turned their backs on rural communities and prioritized the interests of giant companies and Wall Street instead.
It’s time to invest in Rural America by protecting health care in rural communities, providing a public option for broadband internet, and making sure we build the new farm economy that our farmers and farmworkers deserve.
That’s why this isn’t just one plan.
IMPROVING HEALTH CARE
Health care is a human right.
But barriers to insurance coverage, disappearing health facilities, and a shortage of health care professionals are denying rural communities the high quality health care they deserve.
Elizabeth will increase funding for Community Health Centers by 15% per year for five years, and she’ll establish a $25 billion dollar fund to support a menu of options to improve care in places where there is a shortage of health professionals. This includes constructing new facilities, expanding capacity or services at an existing clinic, improving transportation to the nearest hospital, or piloting models like mobile clinics.
Elizabeth will also invest more resources in building a pipeline of medical professionals in rural areas. She will lift the cap on residency placements and target half of new placements in medically-underserved areas, including rural residency programs.
PROVIDING HIGH-SPEED INTERNET
In the 21st century, every home should have access to reliable, high-speed internet. But, in 2017, over 26% of people living in rural areas and over 32% of people living on tribal lands did not have access to minimum speed broadband.
Elizabeth will make sure every home in America has a quality, high-speed internet connection at a price families can afford. That’s why this plan will create an Office of Broadband Access to manage a new $85 billion federal grant program to expand broadband access across the country and appoint FCC Commissioners who will restore net neutrality to maintain open access to the Internet.
DEVELOPING A NEW FARM ECONOMY
Consolidation in the agriculture sector is leaving America’s family farmers and farmworkers with lower prices and fewer choices, while letting big corporations at the top of the supply chain pay artificially low prices.
This unsustainable cycle is why Elizabeth is calling for a complete overhaul of our approach to the farm economy.
Elizabeth’s plan includes:
- A new supply management program that would guarantee farmers a fair price at a lower cost to taxpayers than the current subsidy system and stabilize prices for consumers;
- Paying farmers to fight climate change, including by giving them the tools, research, training, and resources they need to transform the sector and achieve the goals of the Green New Deal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030;
- Breaking up Big Agribusinesses to level the playing field for family farmers;
- Defending the rights of America’s farmworkers by ending the unfair exclusion of farmworkers from basic labor protections, and supporting the mental health of Black and brown farmers and farmworkers; and
- Addressing discrimination and ensuring equity for farmers of color — especially Black famers — who have experienced a long history of government-sponsored discrimination. Elizabeth’s plan will protect the civil rights of underrepresented farmers, and provide real access to land and credit.
Want more? Read Elizabeth’s full plan here.
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