Universal Health Care Actually Does Save Lives

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]tep aside you pesky vaccines, Free Universal Health Care actually DOES save lives: Every other country in the world with lower Infant Mortality Rates all have something in common: they all have free universal health care.

How many people do you know who don’t have health insurance? One in six Americans don’t. So go about your day, and every sixth person you see, assume they don’t have the same access to health care, as you do. They also might not get sick days or maternity leave.

These countries also have better maternity and postpartum care, as well as paid leave to take care of your own baby. These are countries who see that the benefits of maternal and paternal bonding with their children, as well as breastfeeding, has lasting health benefits for the entire family.

In Denmark, every mother get 16 weeks PAID maternity leave, and between her and her partner they can have 42 weeks PAID leave to raise their baby. Denmark has some of the lowest rates of colic in the world and kids are guaranteed a spot in public daycare which is partially funded by the government.

New mothers in Finland are entitled to up to three years worth of paid leave. Norwegian moms get up to 91 weeks. The U.K. grants new mothers up to 39 weeks, while Canadian mothers get one year.

The United States is only country in the developed world that does not mandate employers offer paid leave for new mothers.

In addition, many European countries offer postpartum care to the new mother, which explains why these countries have lower maternal mortality rates:

In Holland, all mothers are entitled to a professional maternity nurse for the first eight to ten days after giving birth, for six hours each day. The nurse helps with breastfeeding, demonstrates newborn care, checks position of the uterus, and also helps with shopping, making lunch and doing light housework.

In Germany, postpartum mothers get up to 14 visits from a nurse to their homes after they deliver for the first 6 weeks, and indefinite access if breast feeding.

France also has a Maternal and Infant Protection Service that provides home visits with a nurse for several weeks, who is sent to check on both baby and mom, help with breastfeeding support, and asses overall well-being.

What if we took some of that money that is wasted by overcharging and overbilling, and actually used that money to take care of our citizens? More than half of health care spending is the “result of generally higher prices for health care services.” Follow the money, as they say.