Thanks to Republican policies and the way they have chosen to treat health care, America is becoming more and more like a third-world country. Pregnant women in rural areas of the country—potentially up to 28 million Americans—are finding it more difficult and much more dangerous to bring new life into the world ~ Alternet.org reports.
This is not something that should be happening in the country with the world’s biggest standing army, a country that often likes to scream to the rest of the globe that it is number one in all things despite all the evidence to the contrary.
Women in rural areas are seeing maternity care of all types fade away. A report from the Rural Health Research Center at the University of Minnesota shows a grim and depressing trend in women’s health care over the last 10 years.
In 2014, 54 percent of rural counties had hospitals offering no obstetrics services whatsoever. It’s more common to find hospitals with no services for pregnant women in counties with a high black population and those with the strictest rules for Medicaid.
But rural areas arguably need these services the most. According to associate professor Katy B. Kozhimannil of the University of Minnesota, these areas have higher rates of pregnancy complications and higher rates of both maternal and infant fatalities.
During the 10-year study period, there were 898 counties nationwide offering no hospital obstetrics services of any sort to pregnant women. During the study, 179 counties closed their doors to obstetrics services.
Medicaid provides funds to cover almost half of all births in the U.S. But GOP policies keep threatening to gut this program.
The Medicaid expansion is one of the Obama policies that Trump wants very much to end, and it was a strong point in his healthcare bill which was not passed by the Senate—but which Trump is still touting.
The World Health Organization (WHO) tracks maternal mortality statistics around the world. Their findings show that deaths are more frequent among women in rural areas and in poorer communities.
Every single day around the world, 830 women die from pregnancy and childbirth-related complications that are entirely preventable. How many of those women want to be living in the United States when they die from something that is treatable with proper medical care?
The WHO says that maternal mortality is “unacceptably high.” And in the U.S., it is on the rise.
NPR published a six-month study of maternal mortality here in the U.S. in 2017. They found that more Americans die from pregnancy-related complications than in any other developed nation in the world.
And by the way, the U.S. is the only developed nation in the world where the maternal mortality rate is rising, rather than decreasing.
The other countries included in that study were the U.K., Germany, Portugal, France, Canada, Ireland, Denmark, Australia, Spain and several others.
This is the horrifying reality of making health care harder to get. This is the horrifying reality of failing to provide enough health services to poorer people.
And this is the horrifying reality in which we live. Are you enjoying your American dream yet? America can and should be better than this, but we need to shift our priorities. Right now, we ARE number one—in letting mothers die. It doesn’t have to be like this.