This chart shows we’re doing some really wrong

Excellent Vox article on the appalling stats of maternal death in the U.S. and how California has dramatically reduced the problem by taking it seriously, unless the rest of the nation.  Here’s the key and super-disturbing chart:

So, what do the researchers have to say:

Yet other developed countries have seen similar health trends in rising childbirth age and bodyweight — without the accompanying increased death risk for mothers.

That’s led researchers like Boston University maternal health expert Eugene Declercq to conclude that a key driver of America’s maternal mortality problem is that America doesn’t value women.

“The argument we make internationally is that [a high maternal death rate] is often a reflection of how the society views women,” he says. “In other countries, we worry about the culture — women are not particularly valued, so they don’t set up systems to care for them at all. I think we have a similar problem in the US.” [emphases mine]

Policies and funding dollars tend to focus on babies, not the women who bring them into the world…

Still, California has demonstrated that even in our messy and imperfect health care system, progress is possible. They’ve shown the rest of the country what happens when people care about and organize around women’s health. Policymakers owe it to the 4 million babies born in the US each year, and their mothers, to figure out how to bring that success to families across the country.

The difference between Texas and California is that California decided to take on maternal mortality, Boston’s Eugene Declercq told me.

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The Republican party is the caricature of the Republican Party

Short and sweet take from Ezra.  And, sadly, true, of course:

Marc Thiessen, the George W. Bush speechwriter who now writes a column for the Washington Post op-ed page, is aghast at the Senate GOP’s health care bill. “Paying for a massive tax cut for the wealthy with cuts to health care for the most vulnerable Americans is morally reprehensible,” he says.

“If Republicans want to confirm every liberal caricature of conservatism in a single piece of legislation, they could do no better than vote on the GOP bill in its current form.”

But at what point do we admit that this isn’t the liberal caricature of conservatism? It’s just … conservatism… [emphases mine]

Republicans, in other words, have repeatedly broken their promises and defied public opinion in order to release health care bills that cut spending on the poorest Americans to fund massive tax cuts for the richest Americans. (The Tax Policy Center estimates that 44.6 percent of the Senate bill’s tax cuts go to households making more than $875,000.)

If they would simply stop doing that, their health care problems would vanish: They could craft a bill that would rebuild the health care system around more conservative principles and do so without triggering massive coverage losses. But at some point, we need to take them at their word: This is what they believe, and they are willing to risk everything — their reputations, their congressional majorities, and Donald Trump’s presidency — to get it done…

Like Thiessen, I want to see a better, more decent conservatism drive the Republican Party. I don’t want to believe that this is the bottom line of GOP policy thinking. But this is clearly the bottom line of GOP policy thinking.

Yep.  As Chait as demonstrated time and time again, the single-unifying, sine qua non, ideology for Congressional Republicans is quite literally, tax cuts for rich people.

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