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U.S. Health Care in the Midst of a Global Pandemic: A Message from Rural America

In 2020, America has found itself in the grips of a global pandemic that triggered the worst health and economic crises in generations. While the long-term ramifications from the COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) pandemic are still unfolding, families and communities across the country continue to be disrupted by very immediate and grave consequences: pandemic-related deaths, high unemployment rolls, historic losses of health insurance, sudden uprooting of financial security, and a widespread closures of business, big and small.

Families across America are facing an uncertain future, with concerns about health care front and center. Pandemic-fueled anxieties are driving conversations about the quality of health care, access, prescription drug costs, and surprise medical bills. These conversations are happening at kitchen tables across America, including in rural America where, historically, policymakers do not give adequate attention.

While the COVID-19 crisis certainly exposes challenges specific to rural America, it’s the commonality of experience and shared perspective on health care that are the dominant themes. These Key Findings show which health care issues are top of mind for people who live in rural America.