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Health Policy Opportunities in the Southern States

Many of the nation’s most persistent health policy challenges are not only present but magnified in the Southern states. As a region, the South has the highest uninsured rate in the nation and a higher burden of chronic disease than other parts of the country. Rural hospital closures and health care workforce shortages in rural communities in the South threaten basic access to care. Systemic racism is increasingly recognized as a public health issue and is reflected in the stark racial disparities witnessed in maternal mortality rates, diabetes outcomes, and COVID-19 morbidity and mortality across the country and in the South.

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