Infant mortality is an important marker for the overall health of a society. So, what does it mean that the infant mortality rate in the United States is 71% higher than comparable nations on the planet? In October 2019 the Peterson Center on Healthcare, a Kaiser Family Foundation partnership, posted a study indicating that the United States has a neonatal death rate that is 63% higher than comparable countries. Our postnatal (death within the 1st year) death rate is 90% higher than in comparable countries. If that wasn’t bad enough, the study shows that while all developed nation’s infant death rates are declining, the United States has a slower rate of improvement in the average rate of infant mortality. In fact, over the last two decades, our infant mortality has declined at a rate that is 40% less than in other countries.
In the United States, we spend 5% more money on health care than our nearest comparable country. For Americans, this additional expense amounts to almost $One Trillion Dollars. Yet in our country, we have 6 babies die for every thousand babies born. In other comparable countries, that number is half that, with only 3 babies dying per thousand babies born. This is unacceptable. Think about it! We are spending more than any other comparable nation and we have more babies dying and those babies that survive can look forward to shorter life spans for in their most productive years of life (as we previously blogged). As Donald Trump describes it when we spend more than other nations for defense, we are the “suckers”. When we spend more on health care and we get less back, we are being ripped off. We are suckers! And, we have to pass a new Trump Advantage Plan for All to deal with this crisis if we are ever going to put a stop our babies dying.