If someone is well-educated, the odds are that he or she will marry someone with similar credentials, according to census data. And that trend has consequences when it comes to access to health care in rural areas.
Rural areas have for years been facing a doctor shortage. That means for the roughly 20 percent of Americans who live in those areas, it’s harder to get care when it’s needed. Policymakers have been trying to create programs that offer medical debt forgiveness and other incentives to doctors willing to set up shop away from the city. But a research letter published Tuesday in JAMA highlights how a key demographic change — the rise of power couples — is stacking the deck against these efforts.