I don’t know if this is the alleged cause as determined by the study or if it’s a bias slipped in by the journalist reporting on the study, but this bit from a story on infant mortality rates, and how America is second only to Latvia among the industrialized world in infant deaths. Consider:
The researchers also said lack of national health insurance and short maternity leaves likely contribute to the poor U.S. rankings.
Saying that lack of national health insurance is a cause is the same as saying that I still have student loans because I didn’t have a rich benefactor when I graduated from college. It’s one possible argument, but it’s preposterous to think of it as causative, or even related, really. I have student loans because I racked up credit card debt during college. Where many people my age paid down student loans, I paid Visa.
In the case of this study, health insurance affordability and access may (and probably do) have a significant contributory impact to high infant mortality rates. Preventive care works wonders, as we surely know by now. But there is no way to realistically gauge that national health insurance is the solution to reducing infant deaths. Any reasonable study of economics suggests it could reduce the rate, but at the likely expense of some other group. What trade-offs shall we start making to get the preferred ideological solution to health care in America? Or would it make sense to say that inadequate health care access and affordability are contributing factors, and work to find a solution to that conundrum that leaves open a much broader range of options? Remember, keeping kids alive and healthy is supposed to be the goal.