Q: If socialized medicine is so bad, why are infant mortality rates higher in the U.S. than in other developed nations with government or single-payer health care?
A: U.S. infant mortality rates (deaths of infants <1 year of age per 1,000 live births) are sometimes cited as evidence of the failings of the U.S. system of health care delivery. Universal health care, it’s argued, is why babies do better in countries with socialized medicine.
But in fact, the main factors affecting early infant survival are birth weight and prematurity. The way that these factors are reported — and how such babies are treated statistically — tells a different story than what the numbers reveal.
Dr. Halderman goes on to handily destroy this broadly accepted myth of the global left, and I certainly suggest looking over the insurmountable case she presents.
Americans may remember this argument being brought up in the healthcare debate. Proponents of the ObamaCare model, which more closely resembles a Euro or Canadian-style system, would suggest that since American infant mortality rates are higher than these other nations with more socialized healthcare, they must have better healthcare systems than America, right? The implication is that these other nations are able to save more infants' lives, which is presumably evidence of a more efficient healthcare construct.
But I guess that all just depends on what your definition of "life" is. Americans recognize a life if it, well... lives. Born. Breathing. Heartbeat. Reacting to stimuli. Any of these things. It's not rocket science.
These other nations with socialized medicine only recognize an infant's life if it meets their standards of what they think "life" is- or at least what it should be for reporting purposes. According to Dr. Halderman's report:
-Low birth weight infants are not counted against the “live birth” statistics for many countries reporting low infant mortality rates.
-Some of the countries reporting infant mortality rates lower than the U.S. classify babies as “stillborn” if they survive less than 24 hours whether or not such babies breathe, move, or have a beating heart at birth. **
And if an infant doesn't meet these state requirements it takes to be considered alive, can that infant ever really die?
Not according to the comrade that's tallying the low "infant mortality rates" that are touted as a measure of the success of state-run healthcare.
So do you really want socialized medicine, America? Where the state must first declare that your prematurely born baby meets the requirements of being considered a life and therefore worthy of saving before efforts are made and resources are dedicated to the task? This is not fear mongering- and it's certainly not far-fetched. Consider how Dr. Halderman concludes her report::
Too short to count?Indeed. They are certainly lucky for their children to have been born in the American healthcare system, rather than a single-payer or universal healthcare system that would have declared their child to have never existed at all. Let us hope that the future may hold such joy for some lucky parents in America.
In Switzerland and other parts of Europe, a baby born who is less than 30 centimeters long is not counted as a live birth. Therefore, unlike in the U.S., such high-risk infants cannot affect Swiss infant mortality rates.
Efforts to salvage these tiny babies reflect this classification. Since 2000, 42 of the world’s 52 surviving babies weighing less than 400g (0.9 lbs.) were born in the United States.
The parents of these children may view socialized medicine somewhat differently than its proponents.
Thanks to Rick Moran of American Thinker
** Perhaps pertinent to note, 40% of all infant deaths result in the first 24 hours after birth.