(MADISON, WI) — Today, Wisconsin’s Joint Finance Committee considered a $200,000 funding bill for farmers’ mental health treatment as suicide rates continue to grow in the rural farming communities across Wisconsin. President Trump’s trade war with China and his continued assault on the health care system is only making matters worse.
In response to this funding proposal and President Trump’s effect on this issue, family farmer and Democratic Party of Wisconsin Rural Caucus Chair Nate Timm released the following statement:
“Suicide in rural Wisconsin and across rural America is an epidemic that has plagued our farming community for too long. I am elated that the Joint Finance Committee passed a funding bill that will address this issue. But we cannot do it alone. President Trump promised he would take care of our farmers and improve our health care system, including making mental health treatment more accessible. He has broken these promises.
“The president’s ongoing trade war with China undermines the farmers’ economically and their ability to plan for the future. Markets that took decades to create are being ripped to shreds in no time at all and will not return even if this trade war were to end tomorrow. Whatever little hope these farmers can hold onto right now is quickly disappearing. Our heartfelt thoughts go out to the many farm families who are struggling. We know that whether farmers are forced to sell off their livestock, sell their dairy herds, or watch their produce exports cut in half, we know this is both economically and psychologically devastating.
“President Trump’s attacks on the Affordable Care Act and our health care system only exacerbate these stressful conditions. He has proposed time and again to cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security — all vital programs that ensure people get the health care treatment they need. And what’s worse is he has done this even as he signed his tax-scam bill, which gave massive handouts to corporations but isn’t paying for itself like he promised.
“It’s time President Trump stopped breaking his promise to Wisconsinites and did the job he said he would do. Instead of tweeting and golfing, the President should start addressing this epidemic by offering policy solutions that will curb this problem, not exacerbate it. Wisconsin farmers need markets, not taxpayer funded handouts — he’s wrong to think he can buy them off.”
Nate Timm is part of a 109 year old family farm and is the Rural Caucus Chair for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.