Friday, August 17, 2007

Why does America have more neonatal intensive care units? Because it needs them.

A Canadian woman recently traveled to the US to have her quadruplets because of a lack of neonatal intensive care space in her home country. Mark Steyn crows:
Well, you can't expect a G7 economy of only 30 million people to be able to offer the same level of neonatal ICU coverage as a town of 50,000 in remote rural Montana.
Ha! Funny!

Of course what he doesn't point out is that, because we currently have such a shitty healthcare system—grounded firmly in a free market concept—the United States needs a lot more neonatal intensive care facilities than Canada. According to a recent study:
A relatively high percentage of babies born in the U.S. die before their first birthday, compared with other industrialized nations.

Forty countries, including Cuba, Taiwan and most of Europe had lower infant mortality rates than the U.S. in 2004. The U.S. rate was 6.8 deaths for every 1,000 live births. It was 13.7 for Black Americans, the same as Saudi Arabia.
All those sick and dying babies in this country require the abundance of NICU facilities we have on hand, but, as Dartmouth researchers pointed out a few years ago, the fact that the United States has proportionately more neonatal intensive care providers for infants born with low birth weight—nearly double the number of Canada and almost triple the number in the UK—we don't have a corresponding higher survival rate for those low birth weight infants.

So, Mark Steyn can laugh all he wants—as long as he thinks it's funny that the system he's championing has real, tragic consequences for many Americans.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As usual, defenders of socialized medicine like to pick and choose their statistics. I lived in Canada for 40 years--now I live here.

Medical care? No comparison. The U.S. is an order of magnitude better.

You are effectively a medical care chicken hawk--you have no direct experience and you don't know what you are talking about.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...

Odd, anonymouse, that while you accuse me of picking and choosing my statistics, you have no actual data to support yours.

As for being a "chicken hawk," that phrase is meant to describe a person who will not put his or her ass on the line in a fight he vocally champions, even as the military needs more recruits. It makes no sense in this context, of course.

I do appreciate the reminder, however, of the foolish, unthinking nature of those who oppose universal health care.

11:35 AM  
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