US Stimulus Bill would address most urgent concerns for family farmers and rural hospitals impacted by COVID-19

To alleviate the current and potential economic fallout from the global COVID-19 pandemic, US lawmakers are poised to pass a response, relief, and stimulus package with a nearly $2 trillion price tag.
calendar icon 26 March 2020
clock icon 7 minute read

“The challenges our country is currently facing are unprecedented – and they call for unprecedented solutions.

“Top of mind for most rural Americans is the health and well-being of their families and neighbours. Rural hospitals have historically been overlooked and underfunded, leaving most without the equipment or personnel they need to handle an onslaught of critically ill patients. This is particularly concerning as rural citizens are, on average, older and more likely to have other health conditions, making them more vulnerable to the virus.

“Though public health is the most immediate and pressing matter, family farmers and ranchers are worried about their long-term financial stability as well. Many were already strained after a multi-year farm economy crisis and a global trade war. Now markets are evaporating as restaurants and schools shutter and exports stall. Farm labour is in short supply with borders closed and visa processing at a standstill. And falling commodity prices are quickly eroding farm income. If these disruptions continue, many operations won’t be able to last more than a few months.

“By providing much-needed support for rural health care and family farm agriculture, the stimulus bill would address many of our most urgent concerns. In the coming weeks, we will learn more about the additional needs of our rural health care system, farmers, and rural communities, and we urge Congress to be ready to address them."

“The challenges our country is currently facing are unprecedented – and they call for unprecedented solutions.

“Top of mind for most rural Americans is the health and well-being of their families and neighbours. Rural hospitals have historically been overlooked and underfunded, leaving most without the equipment or personnel they need to handle an onslaught of critically ill patients. This is particularly concerning as rural citizens are, on average, older and more likely to have other health conditions, making them more vulnerable to the virus.

“Though public health is the most immediate and pressing matter, family farmers and ranchers are worried about their long-term financial stability as well. Many were already strained after a multi-year farm economy crisis and a global trade war. Now markets are evaporating as restaurants and schools shutter and exports stall. Farm labour is in short supply with borders closed and visa processing at a standstill. And falling commodity prices are quickly eroding farm income. If these disruptions continue, many operations won’t be able to last more than a few months.

“By providing much-needed support for rural health care and family farm agriculture, the stimulus bill would address many of our most urgent concerns. In the coming weeks, we will learn more about the additional needs of our rural health care system, farmers, and rural communities, and we urge Congress to be ready to address them."

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