1A Across America: Who Is Caring For Rural Americans? At least 85 rural hospitals have closed since 2010. That's about five percent of the country's total.

What are lawmakers and citizens doing to address the dearth of healthcare for rural residents? We explored this question as part of our Across America partnership.

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1A Across America: Who Is Caring For Rural Americans?

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1A Across America: Who Is Caring For Rural Americans?

1A

1A Across America: Who Is Caring For Rural Americans?

1A Across America: Who Is Caring For Rural Americans?

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/688865192/705642069" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

If you're pregnant in the Missouri Bootheel, you might have to drive as far as 100 miles to get to the hospital if something goes wrong — or if the baby is coming.

From The New York Times:

Medical help is growing dangerously distant for women in rural America. At least 85 rural hospitals — about 5 percent of the country's total — have closed since 2010, and obstetric care has faced even starker cutbacks as rural hospitals calculate the hard math of survival, weighing the cost of providing 24/7 delivery services against dwindling birthrates, doctor and nursing shortages and falling revenues.

The problem goes beyond access to sufficient obstetric care. The University of North Carolina's Rural Health Research Program noted that there have been 95 rural hospital closures from January 2010 to the present. And many of the states with the most closures have "refus[ed] federal money available for Medicaid expansion," according to the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute.

What are lawmakers and citizens doing to address the dearth of healthcare for rural residents?

This show was produced by our Across America team. Find out more about them and our project here.