Sunday, October 4, 2009

Healthcare: The Infant Mortality Lie & Battling the LHS

It doesn't always take long to have a controversial response to a blog post. My recent post:

My opinion is simply: we, as a society, have to do what's in our means to protect our weakest citizens, particularly the elderly and the children. In my opinion, there was a purposeful divergence by the Liberal Healthcare Supporter(LHS) to attack me and my stance AGAINST healthcare reform.

Many of my debates over the topic have revealed that most supporters have good intentions, but don't realize what's ACTUALLY in these bills. Utopian perspectives on fixing healthcare have shown me that most everything, including those "evil" Republicans, want the system improved, but only a few understand the magnitude of the changes that are proposed.

Anyway, back my battle with the LHS, who needs to cling to this idea: the US is the wealthiest country on the planet, but aren't #1 compared to countries with socialized medicine. So our conversation swung toward the point I made earlier and the LHS pounced: why is the infant mortality rate higher in the US than in Europe?

It's likely you could face this swing in a similar argument so let's peel back the onion to find the truth. This is from a piece by Dr. Halderman in 2008 that summarizes many of the falsehoods surrounding Infant Mortality Data1:
  • According to the way statistics are calculated in Canada, Germany, and Austria, a premature baby weighing <500g>
  • Hong Kong or Japan is born alive but dies within the first 24 hours of birth, he or she is reported as a “miscarriage” and does not affect the country’s reported infant mortality rates.
  • 37-41 weeks. In Belgium and France — in fact, in most European Union countries — any baby born before 26 weeks gestation is not considered alive and therefore does not “count” against reported infant mortality rates.
  • Switzerland and other parts of Europe, a baby born who is less than 30 centimeters long is not counted as a live birth.
  • Since 2000, 42 of the world’s 52 surviving babies weighing less than 400g (0.9 lbs.) were born in the United States.
These facts are not Dr. Halderman's data, just a great consolidation and presentation. She's one doctor speaking out repeatedly against the current reform bills, but be warned, speaking out gets you labelled, so she must be a "right-wing extremist" or in the tank for the big insurance companies.

How about if we look within our own country: Utah has a rate of 4.5%, here in Florida it's 7.2%, nearby Mississippi 11.4%, and DC ranks the worst at 14.1%2. Do they have socialized medicine in Utah? We certainly don't here in Florida.

There are a lot of economic, race and education issues that drive this huge discrepancy between US states. So, how can we compare the US to other countries that don't count births based on weight, length, or gestational age?

Remember abortions are NOT part of any of these calculations. There are over a million abortions every year in the US alone and over 2.5 million in Russia. It's always hard for me to keep my cool discussing infant mortality with the LHS when over 5.5 million children are aborted every year.

5.5 million abortions.

Are we supposed to adopt the policies in Asia of NOT counting a new born who passes in the first 24 hours of his or hers life? Will a government run health insurance better serve to resolve this problem - if so, how?

My word of encouragement is this: be ready to face healthcare supporters that have their minds made up, especially those LHS. Whether healthcare is viewed as a right, better than the status quo or they are simply an Obama fanatic, little is known in these bills, but I vow to you the end game is this: one government socialized system.

One theme is all of the healthcare bills and that is the efforts to put pressure on private insurance, control aspects of their business or regulate them out of business.

From the President's letter to supporters:

"The heart of my plan is simple: bring stability and security to Americans who already have health insurance, guarantee affordable coverage for those who don't, and rein in the cost of health care."

Stability, security, guarantee and rein in: all translate to control, control, regulate and control.

After the control and government takeover of healthcare occurs, will the infant mortality be brought down?

I don't think so.

1. Dr. Linda Halderman:


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