America’s rural hospital crisis becomes major 2020 campaign issue

From Fox News:

….times have changed since Miller’s accident a decade ago, with rural hospitals now shuttering at a rapid clip. Since 2010, more than 100 rural hospitals have closed, with another 430 at risk of shutting their doors, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. This poses a huge challenge — and danger — for the 20 percent of the population living in rural America.

As the crisis worsens, it has started to generate increased attention on the campaign trail. Presidential candidates are now talking about the rural hospital shortage on a regular basis, unlike past cycles, as they court voters in critical states like Iowa where the thinning medical infrastructure is an everyday reality.

“Rural health just simply has not been a topic in presidential debates and campaigns in the past,” said Alan Morgan, CEO of the National Rural Health Association (NRHA). “We’re seeing a unique focus on rural health … this presidential campaign that we haven’t seen in the last 20 to 30 years … It’s surfacing the issue as a key presidential campaign topic as we move forward.”

The urban-rural health divide is costing lives

From Axios:

The health disparities between urban and rural areas aren’t getting any better, new studies published in Health Affairs confirm.

The big picture: Rural areas fell short of every benchmark for improvement in seven major causes of death, according to one study — and others suggest that the situation may never get better for the 62 million Americans who live in rural parts of the country.