America's broken childbirth system

Part of the problem is surely that, for a variety of reasons, we have made birth more difficult and expensive than it needs to be. All of the usual villains — from insurers to hospital boards to gazillionaire doctors — who profit by jacking up the costs of giving birth deserve blame. But so do we.

I am certainly not going to pass judgment on the decisions of women who can afford to spend two or more nights in a hospital. But believing in socialized medicine means acknowledging that there is a difference between what we might want and what we actually need. Resources — personnel, equipment, facilities, medication — are limited. Far too much of what is available is expended on those who do not need it at the (sometimes life-destroying) expense of those like the Sinconises and the Apo Osae-Cwums, who do and cannot afford it because they are not Jeff Bezos. This is to say nothing of the frequent post-delivery complications that arise following the use of epidurals even when they are necessary, or of the suspect, possibly even eugenic, overuse of caesarean sections among women receiving Medicaid, which exponentially increase the difficulty of further pregnancies.

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