FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2009
Contact: HHS Press Office
HHS Releases New Report: Hard Times in the Heartland: Health Care in Rural America
White House to Host Discussion with Rural Americans Today
See it live at 10:00 a.m. ET on HealthReform.gov
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today released a new report, Hard Times in the Heartland: Health Care in Rural America, outlining the health care challenges facing rural communities. The report was developed by HHS staff from across the department and comes on the same day Director of the White House Office of Health Reform Nancy-Ann DeParle, HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield, and Representative Mike Ross will hold a meeting with Americans from rural communities as part of the ongoing series of White House Health Care Stakeholder Discussions. The report is available at www.HealthReform.gov. Today’s White House Health Care Stakeholder Discussion will be Webcast live on www.WhiteHouse.gov and www.HealthReform.gov at 10:00 a.m. EDT.
“Americans in rural communities have seen their premiums skyrocket and are finding it difficult, if not impossible to get the care they need,” Secretary Sebelius said. “Today’s report confirms that we cannot wait to enact comprehensive health reform.”
Hard Times in the Heartland indicates that nearly 50 million people in rural America face challenges accessing health care. Not only do these Americans face higher rates of poverty, they report more health problems, are more likely to be uninsured, and have less access to a primary health care providers than do Americans living in urban areas. The report notes:
- Nearly one in five of the uninsured -- 8.5 million people -- live in rural areas.
- Rural residents pay on average for 40 percent of their health care costs out of their own pocket, compared with the urban share of one-third.
- In a multi-state survey, one in five insured farmers had medical debt.
Go to http://healthreform.gov/reports/hardtimes/ to read the full report.
In addition to the Hard Times in the Heartland report that will be added to www.HealthReform.gov today, visitors to the site are also encouraged to take the new Health Reform quiz, a new feature on www.HealthReform.gov.
Do you know if the United States spends more on food or health care? Log on and check out the answer at www.HealthReform.gov.
Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.
Follow HHS on Twitter @HHSgov and sign up for HHS Email Updates.
Follow HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Twitter @Sebelius .
Last revised: May 7, 2011