Solemn Remembrance: Mother's Day U.S.A.

In honor of Mother's Day, Save the Children® released its annual Mother's Index. It ranks how well mothers and children fare in 160 countries based on health, education and economic status.

The best place for mothers was Norway. The worse was Afghanistan. The United States, as wealthy and advanced as we are, came in at 28th place among more developed countries.

Maternal and infant mortality rates, as well as less generous maternity-leave policies, were cited as major contributors to the United States' low ranking.

Both Portugal (#19) and Greece scored higher (#24.) These countries have far fewer resources to support mothers. If we take the magnitude of per-capita health-care expenditure as one measure, we find that Portugal spent $1,897 and  Greece spent $2,197, while the U.S. spent $6,096. (United Nations Human Development Report 2007)

We all know high health-care expenditures do not automatically equate to better health. With health-care reform in motion, we can do something about it. But major stakeholders such as federal and state government, providers, physicians, insurers and consumers are battling over what they may have to "give up" in the name of progress.

The United States is already giving up the health and welfare of future generations. Where's the voice for the mothers and infants who die needlessly? Whatever happened to "as American as motherhood and apple pie?"

— Tom DeSanto

Image: Google Images

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