Wednesday, June 24, 2009

On The Infant Mortality Rate

On a Disgruntled Republican, I posted this comment on the infant mortality rate:

The infant mortality rate is another misunderstood statistic that is commonly used by single-payer advocates to advance their agenda. The main issue with the infant mortality rate is how the OECD comes up with its data. In this case, the problem is the definition of “Live Birth.” The U.S. includes in its infant mortality rate extremely low-birth-weight infants (including those that will not survive) while many nations (many who score very high on the OECD list) DO NOT INCLUDE THESE SAME INFANTS. Even the WHO has gone on record and noted that across 23 European countries there are vast differences in recording and reporting live birth and fetal death within the European region. Essentially, the U.S. lands a lower ranking because it includes doomed low-birth-weight infants while many in the ranking do not. Now I ask you, how is this ranking fair and accurate? And how can anybody tie the quality of a country’s health care on this skewered ranking?

Liberals have been bashing the infant mortality rate statistic over free market conservatives for several years now with great results. But it is a faulty and disingenuous argument to say the least.

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