Thursday, August 27, 2015

Clinton vows help for farms, rural businesses and health, and treating Internet access like electricity

Seeking rural votes in Iowa on Wednesday, Hillary Clinton "proposed banking and tax changes Wednesday that she said would encourage investment in agriculture and rural businesses, along with expanded federal assistance for farmers and ranchers," reports Anne Gearan of The Washington Post.

"Clinton presented a network of initiatives that would build on existing support programs for agriculture, rural development and education," Gearan writes. "Some elements of Clinton’s rural program, such as her proposals to make public college education more affordable, have been released previously. The Democratic front-runner’s rural aid package contains an endorsement for ethanol, the corn-based fuel additive." Iowa leads the nation in ethanol production; Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, endorsed her earlier this week.

Clinton called for "doubling federal loan guarantees for bio processing plants and technologies, long a boon to rural Iowa’s farming industry," Sam Frizell of Time reports. "She would also double federal funding for a program that educates beginning farmers, and build on Clinton’s 'Farm-to-Fork' initiative as New York senator by doubling funding for farmers markets and direct food sales."

On health, "The plan also calls for improving healthcare in rural areas by expanding telehealth and remote patient monitoring. It also called for better prevention and treatment of substance abuse, noting that drug-associated deaths have grown fastest in rural areas, Frizell writes.

Clinton also "wants to increase access to fresh food as part of a rural agenda," Catherine Lucey of The Associated Press reports. "Clinton also spoke about the importance of expanding rural broadband Internet." She said, "We have to do for Internet access what we did years ago for electricity." For a rundown of the plan and Clinton's remarks, click here.

No comments: