When a rural community loses its hospital, health care becomes harder to come by in an instant. But a hospital closure also shocks a small town's economy. It shuts down one of its largest employers. It scares off heavy industry that needs an emergency room nearby. And in one Tennessee town, a lost hospital means lost hope of attracting more retirees.
Here’s a great example of why pure capitalist competition doesn’t work in areas like health care and education in large swathes of America. Small communities like this one often have only one option of a hospital to go to, and often they don’t even have that. And many health care issues don’t allow for direct competition and choice because they are emergent and one can only go to the closest provider with their fingers crossed.
Black mothers and infants in the United States are far more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than their white counterparts. The disparity is tied intrinsically to the lived experience of being a black woman in America.
On today’s episode:
Linda Villarosa, a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine.