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American Way of Birth, Costliest in the World -

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"Insured women are still getting the recommended prenatal care, despite rising out-of-pocket costs, according to a recent study. But that does not mean they are not feeling the strain, said Dr. Kozhimannil, the study’s lead author. The average amount of savings among pregnant women in the study was $3,000 to $5,000. “People will find ways to scrape by for medical care for their new baby, but are young mothers taking care of themselves? And what happens when they need to start buying diapers?” she asked. “Something’s got to give.”

Ms. Martin, who busied herself making toys as her due date neared, could not stop fretting about the potential cost of a complicated delivery. “I know that a C-section could ruin us financially,” she said.

On May 25, she had a healthy daughter, Isla Daisy, born by vaginal delivery. Mother and daughter went home two days later.

She and her husband are both overjoyed and tired. And, she said, they are “dreading” the bills, which she estimates will be over $32,000 before negotiations begin."

Holy smokes. Up to $45,000 estimated for a complicated delivery? How does anyone afford to have kids these days?!?!

They hope insurance covers a lot of it... And they go into debt. It's crazy, ridiculous, sad.

It is super sad, and sounds all too common? Because not everyone's got great insurance, so it would seem like there would be more people who would care about this and want it to be fixed somehow?

Yes. This is why Obamacare is going into effect in 2014.

In California specifically they've approved a single-payer plan that will go into effect in a year or two.

That should help a lot with defraying some of the costs.

Longer term, it's the healthcare system in need of reform. Incentives are misaligned.

I'm not so sure pre-natal care is the most significant factor. Income instead of cost seems to be more significant.

If you look at the maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births, those numbers are:

136th  21 United States

163rd  8   Switzerland

162nd 8   France

131st  21 Chile

170th  6   Netherlands

150th  12 United Kingdom (I included Britain)

40th     300 South Africa also has great datasets on sepsis/abortion deaths and you can also cross correlate everything by income, GDP  and population size.  . 

It still seems like something globally is broken. So many deaths in the process of producing life :(

I take Greg's numbers to mean that infant mortality rates are down, and that had a real dollar cost associated with it.

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