Monday, July 20, 2009

Taxes or Babies, What's Important to You?

Infant mortality has long been considered one of the most important indicators of the health of a nation and the quality of its medical system. In 1960, the United States ranked 12th lowest in the world, but by 2004, the latest year for which comparisons were issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that ranking had dropped to 29th lowest.This international gap has widened even though the United States devotes a far greater share of its national wealth to health care than other countries. In 2006, Americans spent $6,714 per capita on health — more than twice the average of other industrialized countries.

“We’re spending twice what other countries do,” Ms. Davis said, “and we’re falling further and further behind them in important measures like infant mortality.”

Read more

Infant mortality in the U.S. is comparable to that of Cuba and Croatia.

Each year, babies in the U.S. die at twice the rate of those in Japan or Sweden – most because they are born premature. Although our numbers are better today than they were in 1970, we fare worse relative to other countries. Greece, South Korea and Slovenia have all surpassed us during this time.

Of the premature babies who survive, many face a lifetime of learning and medical problems, including increased risk for hypertension, diabetes, and coronary artery disease.

Data Source: CIA World Factbook (based on 2007 estimates) »


Megan said...

Your title doesn't seem to fit the article. Maybe it's just me, but the title seems to suggest that we need to decide whether (low) taxes or baby's health and lives are more important. Yet we learn in the post that we spend a large amount on health care. Money doesn't seem to be the problem. Or I guess I should say LACK of money doesn't seem to be the problem.

I think it's an over all lifestyle problem. As a nation we eat horribly and don't exercise enough. I also wonder how things like artificial insemination and the resulting higher risk pregnancies affect the statistics.

Uncle Sam said...

Its about the EFFICIENT spending of this money. When 30% of your medical premium goes to shareholders and executive pay, that is not efficient. Republican attack dogs beholden to the insurance industry can scream all night long about how "great" our health care system is, if it doesn't get the people who need it, its useless.

And as usual, our youngest and oldest are the most vulnerable. Being the worst in the developed nation in infant mortality is unacceptable.

As for your lifestyle comment, is that an infant problem? Are they not eating well or exercising properly? I've met you on several occasions, what is your excuse for "largeness"?

Lastly, If you understood the medicine behind artificial insemination than you would understand that AI does not equate to an increase in high risk pregnancies as you would want us to believe.

Even if it did, do you not think that other developed nations are doing in vitro? That is truly ignorant if you say no.

It is pathetic to imply that AI significantly contributes to these statistics. Maybe what skewed thes numbers is...that they took these mortality rates from the SV where inbreeding is a big source of infant mortality.

Rockdem said...

No Megan, the title fits the post quite accurately. For this is the battlefield you have yourself defined so often... You hate taxes and you love babies.

Lack of money isn't, in the real world, the primary issue regarding the quality of so many aspects of our existence.

How said money is allocated, is however the issue...

This I have argued for so many years... If you and your husband hadn't made a practice of deleting comments with which you don't find comfort, I could perhaps point back to words I had written in the past. You however delete and edit as per your whim, so my words written of such subjects no longer exist.

Please though, since you seem to support the status quo, would you defend how money is currently expended in our current health care delivery system which you seem at least to wish to protect?

But I don't want to assume or misrepresent you or your thoughts, so please feel free to express your opinion on this issue, without any inference or misinterpretation by me.

And I promise you and everyone who reads this blog, that I will not do as you have done, which is to edit or delete what others wish to express as their opinion...

Your words are your words, and I respect you, even though we at times may disagree...

Toni D. said...

Damn Megan, what do you say to that?

Toni D. said...

And know I love you Lowell, for representing me.

Anonymous said...

What Megan said has nothing to do with any alleged purposeful deletions of comments and/or posts on other blogs. Instead of whining about wanting to go back to supposed thoughts you've written on the subject, why not share them again? Instead, you chose to attack, using that patented Fulk faux nice guy routine replete with snide remarks. Grow up, for God's sake.

Showalter said...

I think the title boils it down to the the basic on several levels. There is a group of people in this country who are so obsessed with taxes that nothing else seems to matter to them. If our health care system is not producing good results and costs twice as much as other developed nations it is ok to these people just as long as their tax money isn't involved. If energy prices skyrocket one day and drop to half the increase the next day, these people are happy if the oil companies are making a killing while screwing the country, just as long as taxes haven't gone up to pay for roads.
If the exact same set of circumstances existed where infant mortality was higher than Cuba's and we spent more in tax money while getting those results these same folks would be screaming that the system is failing. But because it is an alleged "free market" they belive that this situation is somehow ok or start blaming "life choices".
I disagree with Megan and Anonymous, and I agree with Uncle Sam, this is about more efficiently spending the money we spend to get better results. And the present system is not getting the job done.

Showalter said...

From the article:

“Infant mortality and our comparison with the rest of the world continue to be an embarrassment to the United States,” said Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, a conservative research organization. “How can we get better outcomes?”

How indeed? By doing the same thing? Not so much. Maybe Anonymous, it's time for you to quit whining and grow up.

seth said...

let me start by saying that i don't really see what megan said to warrant you guys being such jerks.

it is true that we should expect to do better (and embarassed not to) in rankings such as these, particularly when we spend so much more.

i think megan is on the right track with her point about lifestyles. to me, it stands to reason that the most obese nation in the world (although i recently heard that australia had snagged this dubious honor. fattest country and continent. eat it u.s.) would have a higher incidence of premis and other complications.

we obviously need to do better. but to try to shame people into supporting the current proposal (there is a proposal right? forgive me for being unfamiliar w/ the details) as if that is the only way to make improvements is disingenuous and, i believe, ineffective.

the system is breaking down. and while i do think we need to make changes, i'm concerned about why people feel they need to be the kind of vast reforms that will be incredibly expensive and very difficult to assess (read, what will you do if the current 'plan' goes through and cuba still has less babies die than we do (i'd also like to take the opportunity to say that if you think their infant mortality rate is good, you should check out literacy and voting))

i think that i'd like to see us identify specific problems and try to deal with those rather than implement overarching systematic 'reforms' that will be very difficult to undo once done.

this is where we compromise. lets do it (because those approval numbers on health care are looking worse and worse, and we all know how we feel about what leaders should do in regard to public opinion)

Rockdem said...

If anyone is interested:
Full text of ‘‘America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009’’

seth said...

thanks lowell

seth said...

actually, it's not working....
encore une fois?

Rockdem said...

It's a pdf file Seth.

I just clicked it and it worked on my computer.

Try right clicking and download it to a folder.

You'll need adobe reader to open the file.

Bubby said...

The link worked for me the second time I selected it.

megan said...

I only have a minute so...

I don't erase comments because I don't agree with them. Stop twisting the truth.

"...please feel free to express your opinion on this issue, without any inference or misinterpretation by me."

Sorry, you already have. I wanted to discuss the topic rationally and politely. I guess I came to the wrong place. If I have time later I will address it elsewhere. Feel free to borrow my blog title anytime you wish.

Thanks anon and seth.

Anonymous said...

Ahh, gotta love that hope n' change:

In negative territory on the economy, as well. Guess everyone interviewed in this poll aren't as free thinking as the folks who run this blog.

Uncle Sam said...

Seth, megam and anon/myron,

Stop replacing facts with your guesses. I'f you don't know what your talking about, or do your research, then your opinion is worthless.

And yes, you do censor comments that you disagree with, as superficial, self-absorbed people will do. Outside of most southern baptist preachers, I have not met more anti-christian behavior and comments then you and your ridiculous blog sites.

Anonymous said...

"Stop replacing facts with your guesses. I'f you don't know what your talking about, or do your research, then your opinion is worthless."

Take your own advice, dipsh!t. This isn't Myron...YOU don't know what you're talking about, so stop replacing facts with guesses, eh?

And for ANYONE here to criticize other blog sites is absolutely laughable. This is nothing but a Dem propaganda vehicle, and you sheep lap it up. Free thinkers my a$$...more like brainless a-holes who are incapable of doing nothing but regurgitaing Party garbage.

Anonymous said...

De-baptism on the rise! Apparently hundreds of thousands of people around the world are renouncing brainwashing, christian rituals, like baptism, that were forced on them by their parents.

One other tactic that the christian myth uses to increase their numbers is to promote rabbit-like breeding. Maybe THAT is contributing to the infant mortality rates.

After all, inbreeding in the gene pool does lead to an increase in mental retardation, midgets, crosses eyes and just plain ugliness as seen in appalachia.

Aunt Martha said...

Mellow out pal! I understand your anger and angst from being a republican that is still in the closet and can't come out. I can only imagine the pain that your own party's hypocracy must pose to you, luckily you have lots of role models within your own party. Please look to Sen. Craig, Foley and others, thay can talk you thru it.

I'm a brother in spirit anonypus, be strong.

Rockdem said...

Well, congratulations trolls, you've managed to take the discussion away from productivity to nonsense, mission accomplished... Feel good about yourselves?

Anonymous said...

Fulk this is the type of BS that causes the Republicans and Democrats to stay divided. Just to let you know i never made a comment on this post till now you asked me to behave and i have.Tom

Rockdem said...

Thank you Tom. Yes, this is nonsense. This is indeed what keeps our country from moving forward to solutions. Makes me sick... And again, thank you Tom.

Rockdem said...

I'd like you to know this as well Tom: no matter how stupid or outrageous I think a comment to be, I leave it to be judged on its own merit. I have only ever deleted something which was sent by a promotional bot for some product or service. Not what some other sites practice. Many folks have put time and thought to posts on other sites which have been summarily deleted. This is not reasonable or fair in my mind. I believe a site should be an honest record of all that which is said, not just what we want to be witnessed.

Anonymous said...

Fulk i dont have my on blog but if i did you would be welcomed to comment on it and i would never delete anyones comments. I disagree with you often but you have never deleted any of my comments even when i let Obama have it. We need to start with ourselves and work together. I have problems keeping our group of Republicans together but they have done alot better in the last few months i think last year gave us a wake up call. Tom

Anonymous said...

"Well, congratulations trolls, you've managed to take the discussion away from productivity to nonsense, mission accomplished... Feel good about yourselves?"

You're so full of sh!t. YOU took the discussion away with your comment attacking Megan and whining about supposed deletions, things that had NOTHING to do with the topic at hand. In other words, you took it into nonsense first. Pretending otherwise just makes you look like the a$$ you are.

seth said...

uncle sam,
fuck you.
i'm growing weary of the pretense that you guys want to have intelligent discussions. with the exception of your comment that 30% of health insurance premiums go to profit sharing/executive pay, this thread contains no comments from folks who support obama's (not even really his, is it?) health care plan which even attempt to discuss the facts surrounding this issue. what you find in abundance are shots calling people pathetic, way inaproppriate insinuations of incest, back patting, attacks on religion and a truly stupid/irrelevant conversation about who does or doesn't censor what.

to bring it back around...
as i stated before, i think health care reform might be more effective/less of a burden to our society if we identify the real problem areas and really try to troubleshoot those rather than pass an overarching bill that will, in my mind at least, really change our culture and identity as americans.

if you'd like to discuss this, i'm game. if you'd like to carry on in the vein that i'm beginning to think is more and more typical of this site, please refer to sentence one.

Rockdem said...

Thanks Seth, were you able to finally open the link?

seth said...

yeah i was.
i've only gotten through 18 pages of 1808, but i'm hoping to be able to spend some time w/ it this weekend. thanks for posting the link.

republitarian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.