When it’s a fouled-up health care ‘system’ the blame is dispersed. God takes them. Forty-one nations have better infant survival than the United States, for all the money we spend, for all our claims to have the best health care in the world.
The worst is Angola, with over 185 deaths per 1,000, a statistic that hides terrible grief. Nearly 2 in 10 infants dying in their first year. Things are much better in the United States, our number is 6.43. But in a population of over 300 million that is a national shame. Canada, the UK, Italy, the Czech Republic, Cuba and Aruba do better. Singapore is the best, with infant mortality of 2.29 per 1,000.
I don’t have stats on infant health, but consider this. Death is the worst, most extreme outcome. For every baby that dies, how many are cheated out of the health and future they should, could have had if their mothers had pre-natal care, if every baby had first-rate pediatric care?
It’s not that there aren’t programs intended to deliver these services, but our fragmented, money-driven system impedes patient care. And then we have inexplicable decisions like Governor Carcieri’s attempt to cut 28 pregnant women off state insurance.
What our Governor means by ‘pro-life’, what Sarah Palin means, apparently doesn’t have anything to do with preventing suffering and death of young and old who could not get basic health care in the richest country in the world.