The political and economic determinants of health and health care in rural America

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This paper examines the health conditions of rural America, with emphasis on the rural poor, and considers the reasons for these conditions. Figures show that the proportion of deaths is higher in rural than in urban America for almost all age groups, the causes being generally those associated with poverty. Looking at the morbidity picture, one of the most scandalous health problems in rural poor America is under nutrition and even hunger. Indeed some of the conditions present in rural America are quite similar to those found in underdeveloped countries. Surprisingly these poor areas are very wealthy indeed, supplying most of the country's raw materials and agricultural products, but there is very little control over the resources they produce. Thus the greatest problem in health, work and life in rural America is seen as the lack of control by the majority of the population over the resources and wealth they produce and over the institutions they pay for.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-121
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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