Sunday, August 23, 2009

More Health Care Facts

The columnist Steve Chapman at the Chicago Tribune has written a couple great columns on dispelling some health care myths. The latest is here. This column visits some of the infant mortality data that I discussed below. One good quote is:
Nicholas Eberstadt, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, also attributes the gap largely to conduct. Comparing white Americans to Norwegians in his 1995 book, "The Tyranny of Numbers," Eberstadt concluded that "white America's higher rates of infant mortality are explained not by poverty (as conventionally construed) or by medical care but rather by the habits, actions and indeed lifestyles of a critical portion of its parents."

When I was discussing infant mortality the other day, some folks were all too ready to say that the US health care system is also to blame for the tendency in the US to have low birth weight babies. If only those teen-age moms had seen a primary care physician, they said, they would have stopped smoking and using coke, and -- voila! -- we would have had a nice strapping 8 lb. baby. Ah, one has to marvel at the optimistic trusting innocence of the liberal mind.

I guess also that Steve Chapman is likely to get branded as one of these right-wing maniacs who are spreading misinformation and disrailing the high speed locomotive known as health care reform.

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