Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

All the bad parts of the health care system — poor health, high costs, inadequate access — are worse in rural areas.

The big picture: "This rural disadvantage is unprecedented," said James Kirby, a federal health researcher.

  • Mortality rates are higher in rural areas, and many of those disparities are getting bigger.
  • Women in rural areas are more likely to die from pregnancy-related deaths than urban women. Two-thirds of these deaths are preventable.

Between the lines: Operating a health care practice, especially a hospital, in a rural area is a tough proposition: There aren't many patients, and a large proportion of them are covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

  • More than 100 rural hospitals have closed since 2010, and those still up and running have slashed some services for patients in order to survive, according to one study.
  • It can also be hard to recruit doctors to work in rural areas.

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Updated 46 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:15 p.m. ET: 21,261,598 — Total deaths: 767,054— Total recoveries: 13,284,647Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:15 p.m. ET: 5,324,930 — Total deaths: 168,703 — Total recoveries: 1,796,326 — Total tests: 65,676,624Map.
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  4. States: New York to reopen gyms, bowling alleys, museums.
  5. Business: How small businesses got stiffed — Unemployment starts moving in the right direction.
  6. Politics: Biden signals fall strategy with new ads.

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