WOTUS Rule Formatting; Telemedicine for Rural America
**For those wondering why the proposal to withdraw the WOTUS rule, announced June 27th, hasn’t appeared officially in the Federal Register … blame the formatting.
EPA sent the prepublication version of the proposed rule to the Office of the Federal Register the next day, but it hasn’t been published yet.
The American Farm Bureau’s Don Parrish says it’s the way it looks on the page.
**U.S. growers want to keep their ability to export freely to Mexico and Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement as the pact is renegotiated, but so do Mexican farmers.
The underlying goal of the massive renegotiation is to reduce the U.S. trade deficit, some of which is caused by Mexican exports of tomatoes, watermelons, grapes and other specialty crops.
So, while U.S. farm groups have adopted the slogan “do no harm” when it comes to NAFTA renegotiation, Mexican officials are using it too, raising the possibility of real conflict.
**With rural hospitals at risk of closure and healthcare providers increasingly abandoning sparsely populated areas, many rural residents often must drive for hours and take time off from work to see a doctor.
A promising alternative is telehealth, or telemedicine, providing clinical care remotely by two-way video. The practice has been around for decades, but it is still not widely used because of restrictions on federal reimbursement, inadequate internet connectivity, and the prohibitive cost of the technology.
Rural residents have 102 more deaths per 100,000 than their urban counterparts.