Biden on the Record: Recovery Act and Rural America

We know that health centers are the heart of these communities. They serve, as was mentioned by my colleague, 16 million patients across the country every year. And more than half of them — more than half of them are in rural America, towns like Faison. And we know that health centers are, as I said, in the front lines of rebuilding a health care system most of us think is broken and needs some really serious repair. That’s something the President and I are absolutely committed to, is reforming the health care system — make it affordable and available to all Americans.

And we know that these clinics’ ability to serve American families will, in many ways, determine the ultimate success of the initiatives we’re going to be pushing out the next four years. And we’re committed to giving them what they need now to begin to turn communities around.

In North Carolina alone, 27 community health care centers will receive more than $8.6 million in funds — and they’ve either already received it, or are receiving it very shortly. In all, we have $2 billion targeted for health centers around the country helping serve some 17 million additional — 17 million more patients, more than a third of whom are children.

And we don’t view that money as just spending to get us out of our troubles, but as a deep investment in strengthening the communities of the future. And these are, have to be, the communities of the future.

The Goshen Medical Center is but one example of where we’re investing. And investing in places like this all around the country, that demonstrate the vital role rural towns play in American life, is part of our objective here. All told, we’ll deliver $20 billion in loans and grants to improve economic opportunity and quality of life in rural America this year, an additional $20 billion beyond the normal budget process.

The money will go to improving broadband access, upgrading rural water and waste disposal systems, financing homes and rural families — which Tom and I are going to be talking about a little later today a couple towns from here, and seeding new — seeding new rural business ventures. And finally, as of today, American workers, some 95 percent of them this April 1st — I know it’s April Fool’s Day, and I have nothing to fool you about — (laughter) — that will see an increase in their paychecks starting today — 95 percent of Americans who collect a paycheck where they have withholding tax withheld from. Because the credit that is going to be made available, the typical American family will see $65 per month more in their paycheck. Now that’s not the end of the world, but $65 makes a lot of difference in a lot of families. And it makes a difference. And it starts today.

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