Governments should assess and approve advanced AI models intended for use in health care and medicine if their resources allow, the World Health Organization said in a set of artificial intelligence ethics and governance recommendations released Thursday.

Even so: The resources question is a big one.

While rich countries such as the U.S. and some in Europe are tasking their regulatory agencies with considering these new technologies, low and middle-income countries will also need to do that, with WHO support or on their own, said Rohit Malpani, a WHO consultant who worked on the guidelines.

Why’s that? Because AI that works in the rich world may not in developing nations.

“Ultimately what will be safe and effective and appropriate support for these countries may come under a different set of considerations, both in terms of how they perform, of the types of data that should be trained upon, and ultimately what is required for the standard of care,” he said.

Malpani worries that most of the capacity to develop and use artificial intelligence is in the private sector and that governments are playing catch up.

What else? The WHO also says governments should set liability rules to protect people harmed by AI.

The Biden administration’s decision to require insurers to decide more quickly whether they’ll pay for certain procedures marks a win for doctors.

But advocates for doctors say regulation isn’t enough: They want a law.

“While this final rule is a concrete step toward reducing the glaring administrative burden physicians face, we need congressional action to cement this vital progress,” Dr. Steven Furr, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, said in a statement.

Why’s that? The rule only covers insurers working for government health care programs, so Americans with private insurance might still have to wait longer for coverage decisions.

And regulations are easier to rescind than laws. A future president might not see the issue in the same way the current one does.

What’s next? Under the new rule, private insurers operating Medicare Advantage, Medicaid managed care and children’s health insurance plans will have three days to decide whether to approve a doctor’s urgent request and one week for a standard request, POLITICO’s Robert King reports.

Why it matters: Doctors have long lobbied Congress and the administration to crack down on the insurers’ “prior authorization” system because they say it delays important care and is a burden for them.

“These types of administrative requirements are driving physicians away from the workforce and worsening physician shortages,” Furr said.

Even so: Insurers praised the rule, pointing to the likelihood that it would speed up the process broadly.

At the same time, they argue that prior authorization is needed to control costs.

The rule, which won’t take full effect until 2026, comes as some insurers are already moving away from the prior authorization system.

Some have begun implementing systems that aim to reduce delays by not asking as much of doctors whose prescriptions are usually approved.

Many of those efforts follow the enactment of a 2021 Texas law that required such a system in the state.

Mayors have a role to play in addressing America’s “spiritual crisis,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) told city leaders at the United States Conference of Mayors winter meeting today.

“What’s our job as leaders?” Murphy asked, then answered: “It’s to create a set of rules and laws that allow people to lead a more meaningful, a more purposeful, a happier life.”

The spiritual crisis Murphy sees is loneliness, and he’s on a quest to help Americans make friends.

He said mayors and federal leaders can work together to address it by:

— Working to keep “third places,” meaning locations other than work and home where people meet, like bowling alleys, veterans halls, churches and barber shops open through federal, state or local support.

— Starting a conversation about how federal and local policy can revitalize downtowns, another place where people meet.

— Build programming that brings people together and gets families out of the house, like recreational sports leagues.

And he said mayors could also pressure federal leaders to support national policy that supports connection, including:

— Increases to the minimum wage and promotion of collective bargaining to give Americans more free time to spend with friends and family.

—Laws that restrict the addictive tools social media companies use to keep children on their platforms, rather than spending time in-person with friends.

In Washington: Last summer, Murphy introduced the “National Strategy for Social Connection Act,” a bill which would create an office of social connection in the White House and create a national strategy using public health, technology and social infrastructure policies to drive social connection.

Why it matters: Murphy’s push comes months after a surgeon general advisory warned that loneliness and isolation are associated with a greater risk for health problems, including cardiovascular disease, dementia, stroke, depression and anxiety, as well as suicide.