One of the biggest concerns facing U.S. citizens is still accessing high-quality healthcare. The topic of access to quality healthcare is often discussed in many ways. It can be based on whether some populations are better off than others based on their socioeconomic status, such as ethnicity. All people want to be able to access decent healthcare. Many factors and dynamics can influence or determine whether someone is in a position of privilege or disadvantage relative to others. This raises the issue or idea of healthcare disparities. The higher death rate in rural communities is evidence of the gap between urban and rural residents’ ability to access and receive quality healthcare services.
The United States is plagued by delays and inaccessibility of general and specialty care services. People with chronic illnesses, the elderly, people from racial minority groups, women and individuals who are socioeconomically disadvantaged, as well as women of color, are most affected. Cyr et al. (1999) state that healthcare research often compares the outcomes of inequalities between groups living in different areas to people who have advantages in those same places. Rarely are studies able to compare experiences in urban areas with those of rural Americans. Loftus et al. (2018) claim that significant differences can be found based upon the geographical location of communities. Rural populations are disadvantaged. A lack of access to specialist or primary care has led to poor outcomes for socioeconomically and minority-disadvantaged groups.
Rural and urban residents have different experiences with healthcare because of differences in the socio-economic aspects. Even though there are significant differences in the landscapes and locations of rural and urban areas, it appears that rural communities with lower healthcare costs share many common traits. Laksono, et. al. Laksono et al. (2019) show that there are differences in the quality and access to treatment among residents living in these two settings. This can be seen best by looking at similar groups such as the rural poor, inner-city residents and uninsured or underinsured. Despite passing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and other programs and activities aimed to address insurance inequalities, there are still gaps in the healthcare outcomes of federally insured residents. The lack of access to quality healthcare services in rural areas continues to cause poor outcomes.