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Six ways Congress must address the rural health-care crisis

February 28, 2019

 

“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis.' One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger – but recognize the opportunity.” — John F. Kennedy

 

President Kennedy could have been referring to rural America when he said this.

 

And there is no crisis more urgent in rural America than health care.

 

The facts are startling:

 

While rural America constitutes over 20 percent of the population, only 10 percent of doctors practice there.

 

Nearly 100 rural hospitals have closed since 2010, and 600 more are projected to close over the next decade.

 

Rural communities have far higher numbers of older and lower-income Americans with the fastest growing segment of the population those over 85.

 

The most remarkable part of the crisis is one of our own making. Even though the U.S. spends $10,700 per person on health care, compared to around $4,200 in the United Kingdom, Americans rank last in access to and quality of care while the U.K. ranks first.

 

Read more here.

 

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