Should death certificates cite “Insufficient Socialism”?

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.

4 thoughts on “Should death certificates cite “Insufficient Socialism”?”

  1. Infant mortality rates are a farce. The US measures all deaths while the rest of Europe only counts “viable births.” So if a child with a congential disease that is certainly fatal dies in the US that counts against the mortality rate, but if that same baby is born in France it doesn’t get counted.
    Until you everyone starts counting the same thing, its impossible to compare (this goes for employment statistics as well)

  2. I thought about that one, but decided against using it. But if the mother is on crack, and harming her child like that, it won’t matter who’s paying for the health insurance. She’s not likely to use it. (As if it would help…)
    As I’m sure you’re in agreement, the conclusion is the same. There’s no cause-effect between infant mortality and national health care.

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