For all the idyllic scenery and open air of rural America, residents of less-populated parts of the country face shocking disparities in health care. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that Americans who live in rural areas are much more likely to die from common, chronic maladies like cancer and heart disease than their urban counterparts.
Among the report’s starkest findings was the fact that roughly 71,000 rural deaths, including 11,000 alone due to chronic lower respiratory diseases, were potentially preventable. This dangerous disparity in quality of life between rural and urban Americans should not exist. Moreover, recent polls from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation show that a quarter of rural Americans have been unable to access necessary health care, even though nearly 90 percent have health insurance.