Abstract: As the national health debate evolved over the past two years, a need to better understand the differential constraints of rural health delivery and popular attitudes toward policy initiatives became apparent. Selected 1994 and 1995 results of two national surveys designed to compare rural and urban household responses are reported. The average distance those living in rural households must travel to access medical providers and emergency care is nearly double that of urban household residents. Rural household resident responses show a higher level of acceptance of nonphysician health care providers such as physicians assistants and registered nurses. Means testing of Medicare programs and use of special indicators for providing more Medicaid funds to states with medically underserved and sparsely populated areas are examples of two policy initiatives that receive favorable responses from both urban and rural household residents, but would disproportionately benefit rural areas.