Archive for the 'Economics' Category

“Mothers die too often because women’s health isn’t valued in the US”

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

Vox: California decided it was tired of women bleeding to death in childbirth. “The maternal mortality rate in the state is a third of the American average. Here’s why.” By Julia Belluz, Jun 29, 2017.

“[T]here’s been a decline in access to contraception and abortion in many parts of the US, leading to more unplanned, unwanted — and, in some cases, more dangerous — pregnancies.

The opioid epidemic certainly hasn’t made births safer for moms, and health care access remains poor for low-income and minority women, who have among the worst maternal health outcomes.”

Also:

“Large employers in California, including Disney and Apple, as well as insurance payers have recognized that making births safer saves them money. They’ve supported CMQCC by helping pressure hospitals to follow the steps to protect women in the workforce – and avoid incurring unnecessary costs that drive up insurance premiums.”

Emphases mine.

ProPublica and NPR: The Last Person You’d Expect to Die in Childbirth. By Nina Martin, ProPublica, and Renee Montagne, NPR, May 12, 2017.

“The U.S. has the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world, and 60 percent are preventable. The death of Lauren Bloomstein, a neonatal nurse, in the hospital where she worked illustrates a profound disparity: The health care system focuses on babies but often ignores their mothers.”

ProPublica: Lost Mothers. “An estimated 700 to 900 women in the U.S. died from pregnancy-related causes in 2016. We have identified 134 of them so far.” By Nina Martin, ProPublica, Emma Cillekens and Alessandra Freitas, special to ProPublica, July 17, 2017.

Links via MetaFilter.

“This is what grudging benevolence rooted in a sense of personal superiority and belief in the power of performance looks like.”

Monday, October 9th, 2017

The Washington Post: In Puerto Rico, Trump’s paper-towel toss reveals where his empathy lies.

“Nicholas Vargas, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Florida, noted that Trump doesn’t approach everyone in such a state of callous disconnect. In August, Trump said there were “very fine people” among the white supremacists at a rally in Charlottesville that left a counterprotester dead. Soon after, he pardoned former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, formally expressing concern for a man known for racially profiling Latinos and housing jail inmates outdoors in tents.

In these cases, Trump showed compassion.

“But when it comes to Puerto Rico and the humanitarian crisis there, what we see is a hands-off, bitter, hardly restrained resentment that anything is expected of him at all,” said Vargas, who studies issues related to race and ethnicity. “This is a man who has the capacity to empathize. It — even in a catastrophe — is just a selective thing.”

These images show a president without mercy for certain human beings, “people unlike him,” Vargas said. “That is women, people of color — even in the most dire of circumstances.””

“She lives in a tiny rented shed that has no plumbing. She gets water from a brother who lives in a trailer across the road.”

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

Washington Post: After the check is gone. “The underground economy has long been a part of rural America, where some receiving disability benefits are forced to work to survive.”

“Mallory, W.Va. — For the people of the hollow, opportunity begins where the road ends, and that was where they now went, driving onto a dirt path that vanished into forest. It was here that they came at the end of the month, when the disability checks were long gone, and the next were still days away, and the only option left was also one of the worst.

The goal was simple. Get to the top of the mountain. Collect as many wild roots as possible to sell to a local buyer. Avoid the copperheads and rattlesnakes. Descend before the rains came again and flooded their way out.”

And this is not in a third-world-coutry, it’s in the country that calls itself the “greatest country on earth”.

“Universal health care isn’t a policy conversation. It’s not a political talking point.”

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Medium: Why I Believe in Universal Healthcare. By Jenny Nicholson.

“I was a junior in high school when my mother had her first heart attack. She was in her bed, moaning, crying that she couldn’t breathe.

We were too poor to have a phone, so I ran barefoot to the neighbor’s house, 1/4 mile down the road. I’ve never moved so quickly in my life.

It was a 30-minute drive to the hospital and, as we followed the ambulance, I prayed the whole time that my mother wouldn’t die.”

Link via MeFi Projects.

“It is as if the white tribe united in demonstration to say, “If a black man can be president, then any white man—no matter how fallen—can be president.””

Monday, September 11th, 2017

The Atlantic: The First White President. “The foundation of Donald Trump’s presidency is the negation of Barack Obama’s legacy.” By Ta-Nehisi Coates.

“When a woman “exploded” and told [George] Packer, “I want to eat what I want to eat, and for them to tell me I can’t eat French fries or Coca-Cola—no way,” he sees this as a rebellion against “the moral superiority of elites.” In fact, this elite conspiracy dates back to 1894, when the government first began advising Americans on their diets. As recently as 2002, President George W. Bush launched the HealthierUS initiative, urging Americans to exercise and eat healthy food. But Packer never allows himself to wonder whether the explosion he witnessed had anything to do with the fact that similar advice now came from the country’s first black first lady. Packer concludes that Obama was leaving the country “more divided and angrier than most Americans can remember,” a statement that is likely true only because most Americans identify as white. Certainly the men and women forced to live in the wake of the beating of John Lewis, the lynching of Emmett Till, the firebombing of Percy Julian’s home, and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Medgar Evers would disagree.”

Link via MetaFilter.