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Knowing it may be met with some skepticism, the Trump administration Thursday announced a sweeping plan that officials say will transform health care in rural America.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic reached into the nation’s less-populated regions, rural Americans were sicker, poorer and older than the rest of the country. Hospitals are shuttering at record rates, and health care experts have long called for changes.

The new plan, released by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, acknowledges the gaps in health care and other problems facing rural America. It lists a litany of projects and directives, with many already underway or announced within federal agencies.

“We cannot just tinker around the

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