Cure shortsightedness now!

Area's maternal death rate must be brought down

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Let’s be honest. Our health-care system, arguably the best in the world, has never done prevention very well. It’s almost been an afterthought, if a thought at all.

That’s the height of shortsightedness. It costs more in the long run – more money, more pain, more suffering, more lives – to ignore prevention and skip to treatment once disease sets in.

We need to change that, and here’s some very good motivation: Georgia is first in the nation in the numbers of women who die during pregnancy or in their children’s first year of life.

And the 13-county Augusta health district leads the state in that purely awful statistic. In fact, Augusta’s East Central Health District has two-and-a-half times the maternal deaths as the rest of the state and six times the national rate.

We need to find out why.

The state has formed a “maternal mortality committee” to investigate the relatively high mortality rate for pregnant women and young mothers in the region. We look forward to their findings.

Is it diet and other health matters? A lack of access to health care? A lack of education? Or self-esteem? Cultural factors? A Georgia Regents University study in 2011 found that suicides and homicides are the leading cause of maternal deaths.

Regardless of what they end up concluding, it’s certain that the public health system and access to prenatal and postnatal care play crucial roles in healthy pregnancies and mothers.

Will the new federal health care law bolster such care? We hope so, though we fear that the colossal bureaucracy the law is creating may only get in the way of itself and the delivery of care.

This page has been highly critical of the law. We believe its government-centric approach is simply the wrong prescription for what ails us. We’re not the only ones to harbor that dread: Democrat Sen. Max Baucus of Montana famously said he sees Obamacare as a coming train wreck. And a top Obama administration official admitted last week its rollout would be messy.

Then again, Republicans who opposed Obamacare did a dismal job of putting forth their own remedy, and were caught flat-footed and got completely out-maneuvered. Then they nominated the only presidential candidate they could find – Mitt Romney – who was unable to make Obamacare an issue, since he’d presided over a similar measure as governor of Massachusetts.

They’ve got no one to blame but themselves.

Whatever the system, we’ve got to unite and bring down the maternal death rate here. It’s a disgrace, particularly for a region with some of the best hospitals, doctors and researchers in the Southeast.

Understanding the problem must lead to a solution.

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specsta
7137
Points
specsta 07/01/13 - 12:40 am
7
6
A Sinister Plan

Everyone's health is at jeopardy right now. All of us.

A stroll through any supermarket will reveal aisle after aisle of inedible rubbish masquerading as food. "Food" filled with chemicals, cancer-causing preservatives, tainted with GMO-infused alterations, sodium, sugar and unhealthy fats.

Ninety percent of the frozen food section should tossed on the trash pile - yet Americans eat this mess daily. It's cheap and fast.

People on a budget, which is a large portion of consumers, see that organic and healthier alternatives sometimes cost three times as much as the inedible junk. This is all part of the plan.

These food manufacturers are in cahoots with the billion-dollar pharmaceutical companies, whose sole goal is to TREAT disease, not CURE disease. Unhealthy eating leads to disease, which leads to a demand for drugs that treat the symptoms.

And these evil conglomerates make money off the suffering of human beings.

If this country were truly serious about reducing mortality rates, fresh organic food would be plentiful - and cheap. There would be fresh fruits and vegetables in every corner market, especially in poor, urban areas. Instead, these neighborhoods get liquor stores and convenience stores that sell trash food on the cheap.

It is a shame that we put up with this.

corgimom
38521
Points
corgimom 07/01/13 - 03:45 am
6
1
Specsta, while you make some

Specsta, while you make some good points, food doesn't cause suicides and homicides, the leading cause of maternal deaths in Augusta.

soapy_725
44121
Points
soapy_725 07/01/13 - 05:08 am
0
0
We as a Christian nation have placed no value on human life.
Unpublished

Only the Catholic Church remains steadfast in the sanctity of God given human life.

soapy_725
44121
Points
soapy_725 07/01/13 - 05:10 am
0
0
Roe v. Wade became Live and Let Die. Life has no meaning.
Unpublished

Root cause of all homicides. And abortions are homicides.

Little Lamb
49137
Points
Little Lamb 07/01/13 - 06:16 am
5
3
Too Much

ACES asked:

Is it . . . a lack of access to health care?

I was thinking just the opposite. Augusta is ground zero in the quantity and quality and availability of health care. You can find free health screening bazaars every weekend. You can use the emergency rooms and walk away without paying.

No, it's more likely too much health care than too little.

deestafford
32007
Points
deestafford 07/01/13 - 06:17 am
5
4
Break the statistics down

according to culture and racial lines and I bet that will give some indication as to where the problem lies. Then a focused rather than a shotgun approach can be taken.

The Republicans did offer an alternative to obamacare and nobody was interested and it got no coverage in the media because of its love affair with obama and the other statists. Their solutions was very simple...let the free market decide by allowing health insurance to be bought across state lines and eliminate mandates such as pregnancy coverage for 65 year old women or hair transplants which are mandated by some states.

You are right about Romney being hand strung on the health care issue because of the state mandated health care in MA. In reality, that's where the decisions should be made...at the state level.

As far as specta proposals go there is a thing called the "free market". Businesses will do what they can to provide a product or service which the people are willing to spend their money on. Businesses are not social organizations. They exists to make a profit. That concept, while alien to some, is what has made this country great and allowed it to feed more people, more efficiently than any country in history. The rancher in Kansas who provides beef steak to those in NYC is not really doing it so he wants them to have steak. He is doing it so he can make a profit on his efforts. The same holds true for the potato farmer in Idaho from whom NYC gets potatoes to go with the steak. It's done to make a profit not altruism.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 07/01/13 - 06:33 am
8
2
Ever thought of growing your
Unpublished

Ever thought of growing your own food? It's not that hard and requires very little land.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 07/01/13 - 06:43 am
5
3
"These food manufacturers are
Unpublished

"These food manufacturers are in cahoots with the billion-dollar pharmaceutical companies, whose sole goal is to TREAT disease, not CURE disease. "

Really? You sure it isn't just that they want to make a profit? You REALLY think the food manufacturers are intentionally making people sick so that their pharmaceutical buddies can make money? That sounds more like the tin foil hat people should be making the money.

Riverman1
93862
Points
Riverman1 07/01/13 - 06:44 am
7
0
Let’s be honest

Let’s be honest here. If the study said murder and suicide are the leading causes of maternal death then medical care is not the problem. To take this to the extreme if you give me educated, careful women living in a home in a remote area of the CSRA with absolutely NO medical care, having their children at home, their statistics would be better than those living around the corner from MCG.

carcraft
28495
Points
carcraft 07/01/13 - 06:49 am
3
1
Corgimom, I'm not sure if

Corgimom, I'm not sure if food doesn't effect behavior! Remember the "twinkie defense "in the Harvey Milk murder trial? It didn't work hut .... :)

Scratch
150
Points
Scratch 07/01/13 - 07:17 am
3
3
Access Only Good If Used

Preventive care is obviously more effective and less costly than "disease" care. I have a good friend, a family doc very prominent on the national healthcare scene. He has written a few books on our broken system. He strongly urges mandated health insurance, preventive care for all, and ultimately a single payer. IMO he is 180 degrees wrong! Why? Mostly because human beings will not change their behaviors by gov't decree. Drug addicts will remain addicted; alcoholics will still drink to excess; the obese will still choose unhealthy foods; motorcyclists will ride without helmets; drivers will still not "buckle up"; etc. I favor a single payer system as well. That payer is the person who receives the care.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 07/01/13 - 07:21 am
5
3
Good one Scratch. I am often
Unpublished

Good one Scratch. I am often intrigued by the term "single payer" when it is all of the tax payers that are paying.

jkline
527
Points
jkline 07/01/13 - 08:58 am
5
1
Cost must be a factor

There was an article in the New York Times about the circumstance that the US is one of the most expensive countries in the world to have a baby in, taking only what have become normal medical procedures into account. This has to be a big part of this topic.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 07/01/13 - 09:01 am
4
2
Do you know WHY cost is so
Unpublished

Do you know WHY cost is so high? It is because of insurance. The hospitals only charge what they know they can get. Without insurance, people couldn't afford the care, so the hospitals would HAVE to lower prices.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 07/01/13 - 09:56 am
0
0
If you think
Unpublished

the maternal mortality rate is high now, just wait until obama "adopts" Africa and requires Americans to pay for their health care.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 07/01/13 - 10:16 am
2
0
Some of causes

"Is it diet and other health matters? A lack of access to health care? A lack of education? Or self-esteem? Cultural factors?"

ALL OF THESE add up to IGNORANCE !! This goes for the fathers too.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 07/01/13 - 10:19 am
0
1
Quote from editorial

"A Georgia Regents University study in 2011 found that suicides and homicides are the leading cause of maternal deaths."

"An ounce of prevention is ........" You know the rest.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 07/01/13 - 10:23 am
2
0
Quote from editorial

"Will the new federal health care law bolster such care? We hope so, though we fear that the colossal bureaucracy the law is creating may only get in the way of itself and the delivery of care."

If Obamacare is run like it is formulated to, if these numbers of deaths remain, WE WILL KNOW THAT IT IS IGNORANCE !!

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 07/01/13 - 10:28 am
3
2
Quote from editorial

"Then again, Republicans who opposed Obamacare did a dismal job of putting forth their own remedy"

I DON"T see why Republicans are SO HARD_HEARTED that they will deny 47 million Americans the right to health insurance.

oldandwise
10
Points
oldandwise 07/01/13 - 10:30 am
2
2
Maternal deaths

Maybe, just maybe, if we sterilized the women who had babies after no prenatal care, we could lower the maternal death rate. Women who have babies because they don't use birth control and then don't get prenatal care, should not be allowed to have children. Many of the babies are born premature and are unbelievably sick and are treated at huge costs to the taxpayers. If these babies make it home, many are not cared for by loving, caring Mothers and die under negligent or inadequate care. We can't get the men to voluntarily get sterilized and many have babies with several women. If a woman had a 2nd child and is dependent on welfare, I say sterilize them!!!

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 07/01/13 - 10:35 am
4
0
You nailed it Riverman1 @ 7:44

"Let’s be honest here. If the study said murder and suicide are the leading causes of maternal death then medical care is not the problem. To take this to the extreme if you give me educated, careful women living in a home in a remote area of the CSRA with absolutely NO medical care, having their children at home, their statistics would be better than those living around the corner from MCG."

I especially agree with the part that many of these problems ARE NOT PHYSICAL !!

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 07/01/13 - 10:41 am
2
0
Oldandwise @ 11:30

"Maybe, just maybe, if we sterilized the women who had babies after no prenatal care, we could lower the maternal death rate. Women who have babies because they don't use birth control and then don't get prenatal care, should not be allowed to have children."

Perhaps I agree with this statement, BUT we are not China, yet ! Your concept is correct, BUT not Politically Correct nor humane. AND ONE OTHER THING, the fathers need to step-up as well or possible get nutered like pets !!

Bizkit
35647
Points
Bizkit 07/01/13 - 11:20 am
4
0
A major reason for high costs

A major reason for high costs is the distribution of physicians-too few preventive care and too many specialist with costly procedures. Insurance companies are like oil companies with their profits and studies have demonstrated that their excuse for high cost lies in research and development is false and a ruse. The insurance industry is dictating what physicians can do and the legal system have physicians in fear of not covering their tookus. The reason for maternal, etc. , etc. etc. statistics isn't always related to health care per se but other factors such as genetic and cultural and ethnic behaviors-like the incidence of certain genetic diseases or cancer or heart disease differs in gene pools, and the cultures of eating high fat, high sodium , high corn sugar diets. Perhaps a single payer system would weed out all the "greedy physicians" who work for money and only select for altruistic people who will be satisfied with making 60-80K a year-good luck on filling the medical schools with these folks cause they couldn't even pay back their student loans and would go bankrupt with five years, then all the work gosh I come from a family of physicians and they all work like 7 days a week, then all the school and continuing education. Yep lots of altruistic people should fill our diminishing pool of physicians to make poor wages and attain their degrees. Perhaps like our public schools we will see a similar return in outcomes and success with this new breed of poorly paid physician. Ah I love Star Trek too.

Scratch
150
Points
Scratch 07/01/13 - 11:30 am
3
2
High Cost of Having Babies

A major reason why the cost of a routine delivery is so high is the cost of professional liability insurance for OBGYNs. I know of several who have been delivering babies for well over 20 years without a malpractice claim. They pay more than $100,000 per year in malpractice insurance. That is here in Georgia where rates are relatively low compared with the rest of the country. It seems in our extremely litigious culture these days that a mother could sue an OB doc if her child fails to get accepted at Harvard! In OB, a statute of limitation is extremely tough to use in civil court. No wonder deliveries cost a lot.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 07/01/13 - 12:42 pm
5
2
What on earth makes you think
Unpublished

What on earth makes you think free health insurance is a right?

carcraft
28495
Points
carcraft 07/01/13 - 12:46 pm
2
1
Many many errors in the

Many many errors in the comments. Profits for health insurance companies, about 3 to 4%. Availibility does not mean people will access it. Prostate cancer among black males. Often intervention isn't sought because of sociology economic issues, not availability. One factor not mention is law suits and the impact on health care, especially OB. I could go on for hours but much of our problem relates to ignorance in the general population in failure to access health care!

carcraft
28495
Points
carcraft 07/01/13 - 12:54 pm
4
1
t3bledsoe, after selling our

t3bledsoe, after selling our rights we are going to have about 30 million still with out health insurance. Wall street journal article today "Insurance Costs Set For A Jolt ". It explains that the cost of health care for the sick will be place on the backs of those that can least afford it, the newly employed and healthy young people. The healthy young people will see their premiums increase 2 to 3 times?

mrenee2003
2946
Points
mrenee2003 07/01/13 - 10:34 pm
1
0
Specsta

You hit the nail on the head. The real health crisis in our country is the substances that are being pushed on us by the food industry. I get the point that it's a free market system but you shouldn't need a Ph.D. to understand the ingredients in your food. Unfortunately, many people don't even realize that half of what they are eating isn't even food. High fructose corn syrup is added to almost everything because there is too much corn due to (unnecessary) subsidies paid to corn growers whereas there are no subsidies paid to fruit and vegetable growers. Growing your own food is a good option for land owners, HA, but many people, especially the poor, don't have the space or the right to space. I would love see more community gardens in the CSRA. BTW, support the local farmers on Saturday mornings! Old and wise, not only does Georgia have the highest maternal death rate, it also has one of the highest pregnancy rates among teenage girls. Abstinence only programs currently taught in our public schools do not work. Comprehensive sex education would prevent a lot of unwanted pregnancies. Bizkit, I could not have said it better myself. There's a lot of hand wringing that socialized medicine means the best and the brightest wouldn't enter the medical profession. Not true; the greedy, status seekers wouldn't. Those interested in helping would still go into medicine. There are millions of people each year that go into helping professions. A newly minted Ph.D. starts out at GRU at $49,000 a year (10-month contract). Why would someone spend 8 - 10 years of their life to get a degree to only earn $49,000 a year? Because they are committed to education. Nurses, teachers, social workers, psychologists, counselors ... all of these people enter into professions they KNOW will keep them living paycheck to paycheck because they want to help. Don't underestimate the goodness in people!

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