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Wall Street Journal- U.S. Newborn-Survival Rate Ranks

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by gifford1967, May 10, 2006.

  1. gifford1967

    gifford1967 Contributing Member
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    It's time for a national healthcare system that covers everyone.



    U.S. Newborn-Survival Rate Ranks
    Near Last in Industrialized Nations

    Associated Press
    May 9, 2006 11:03 a.m.

    CHICAGO -- Despite its superpower status, the U.S. survival rate for newborn babies ranks near the bottom among 33 industrialized countries, better only than Latvia.

    The U.S. is tied with Hungary, Malta, Poland and Slovakia with a death rate of nearly five per 1,000 babies, according to a new report. Latvia's rate is six per 1,000.

    "We are the wealthiest country in the world, but there are still pockets of our population who are not getting the health care they need," said Mary Beth Powers, a reproductive health adviser for the U.S.-based Save the Children, which compiled the rankings based on health data from countries and agencies world-wide.

    The U.S. ranking is driven partly by racial and income disparities. Among U.S. blacks, there are nine deaths per 1,000 live births, closer to rates in developing nations than to those in the industrialized world.

    "Every time I see these kinds of statistics, I'm always amazed to see where the United States is because we are a country that prides itself on having such advanced medical care and developing new technology ... and new approaches to treating illness. But at the same time not everybody has access to those new technologies," said Dr. Mark Schuster, a Rand Co. researcher and pediatrician at the University of California, Los Angeles.

    The Save the Children report, released Monday, comes just a week after publication of another report humbling to the American health-care system. That study showed that white, middle-aged Americans are far less healthy than their peers in England, despite U.S. health-care spending that is double that in England.

    In the analysis of global infant mortality, Japan had the lowest newborn death rate, 1.8 per 1,000 and four countries tied for second place with two per 1,000 – the Czech Republic, Finland, Iceland and Norway.

    Still, it is the impoverished nations that feel the full brunt of infant mortality, since they account for 99% of the four million annual deaths of babies in their first month. Only about 16,000 of those are in the U.S., according to Save the Children. The highest rates globally were in Africa and South Asia. With a newborn death rate of 65 out of 1,000 live births, Liberia ranked the worst.

    In the U.S., researchers noted that the population is more racially and economically diverse than many other industrialized countries, making it more challenging to provide culturally appropriate health care.

    About half a million U.S. babies are born prematurely each year, data show. African-American babies are twice as likely as white infants to be premature, to have a low birth weight, and to die at birth, according to Save the Children.

    The researchers also said lack of national health insurance and short maternity leaves likely contribute to the poor U.S. rankings. Those factors can lead to poor health care before and during pregnancy, increasing risks for premature births and low birth weight, which are the leading causes of newborn death in industrialized countries. Infections are the main culprit in developing nations, the report said.

    Other possible factors in the U.S. include teen pregnancies and obesity rates, which both disproportionately affect African-American women and also increase risk for premature births and low birth weights.

    In past reports by Save the Children – released ahead of Mother's Day – U.S. mothers' well-being has consistently ranked far ahead of those in developing countries but poorly among industrialized nations. This year the U.S. tied for last place with the United Kingdom on indicators including mortality risks and contraception use.

    While the gaps for infants and mothers contrast sharply with the nation's image as a world leader, Emory University health policy expert Kenneth Thorpe said the numbers aren't surprising.

    "Our health-care system focuses on providing high-tech services for complicated cases. We do this very well," Mr. Thorpe said. "What we do not do is provide basic primary and preventive health care services. We do not pay for these services, and do not have a delivery system that is designed to provide either primary prevention, or adequately treat patients with chronic diseases."

    Copyright © 2006 Associated Press

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114718184140947752.html
     
    #1 gifford1967, May 10, 2006
    Last edited: May 10, 2006
  2. Master Baiter

    Master Baiter Contributing Member

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    The greatest country in the world cannot keep their own people healthy. It is a complete shame.
     
  3. CreepyFloyd

    CreepyFloyd Member

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    wow....latvia on the come-up

    people in the us criticize national healthcare in other countries as being inefficient, but if any country can make it work, it's this one

    a small percentage of the funds dedicated to the illegal invasion and occupation of iraq could've helped kickstart the program
     
  4. gifford1967

    gifford1967 Contributing Member
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    States are taking the lead.



    Vt. Politicians Agree on Health Care Bill

    MONTPELIER, Vt., May. 10, 2006
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (AP) As many as 25,000 Vermont residents who have no health insurance will be able to get it under a reform package agreed to Tuesday by Gov. Jim Douglas and legislative leaders.

    The bill would extend health care coverage to as much as 96 percent of the state's population by 2010. Currently, slightly less than 90 percent of Vermonters have health insurance.

    "This gets health insurance into the hands of Vermonters who don't have it," said House Speaker Gaye Symington. "It isn't just insurance. It's quality insurance."

    The bill _ worked out between the Republican governor and leaders of the Democratic-controlled Legislature _ calls for the creation of Catamount Health, a new insurance plan that would be sold by private companies but would be subsidized by the state for those who cannot afford it.

    It would be funded by increases in the cigarette tax and a new $365-per-employee annual fee that would be imposed on businesses that do not provide their workers with insurance.

    Advocates said Catamount Health would go further than the universal health care plan approved in Massachusetts earlier this spring. That is because the plan is designed to provide better care for people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or cancer and head off serious complications.

    It is designed "so we pay for the blood work and not the amputation," said House Health Care Committee chairman Rep. John Tracy, a Democrat.


    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/05/10/ap/politics/printableD8HGKBV00.shtml
     
  5. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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  6. Ubiquitin

    Ubiquitin Contributing Member
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    I was in the Health Insurance Industry, I would be furious... at the notion of free healthcare
     
  7. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

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    I hate to go to the darkside on this issue but there are so many services out there in this country for poor expectant mothers its not even funny. maybe their is a lack of info, but this is really shocking news to me because I just don't understand how a woman couldn't get prenatal care in this country. its really abundant.
     
  8. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

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    Culture of LIfe!!!
     
  9. gifford1967

    gifford1967 Contributing Member
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    I think part of the problem is not having a coherent, consistent, easy to navigate system. Many times services may be available, but difficult to identify and access.
     
  10. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    The poorest of the poor are ok. It is those that are still poor, but not poor enough that don't get the care. At one point I was in the same predicament with a medical condition, and I talked to what seemed like a million agencies, but I was not quite poor enough. If I had quit working I could have qualified and had better healthcare.
     
  11. Grizzled

    Grizzled Member

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    It’s not free. If you implemented something like the Canadian system then it would be like having all basic health care needs covered by one insurance company in each state, and that company would be owned and managed by the state and all insurance premiums would be paid by the state.
     

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