Thanks to Olga Khazan for this well-sourced and important piece!
Her article in the Atlantic brings up a great point about insurance companies. Rising deductibles are making birth even more expensive and saddling families with debt from day 1. (My daughter and I were each charged our full $2000 copay for her birth. With good insurance, my 2 day old got a bill. 😮)
Around the world, birth is free (in places with better outcomes than the US, so they’re not sacrificing on quality).
Interestingly,certified nurse midwives have better mother and child outcomes in hospitals and are much cheaper for insurance companies and families. But they’re the first on the chopping block when hospitals are losing money (which is also when c sections rates increase, especially when insurance companies reimburse cesareans at higher rates).
This is bad policy that’s hurting families.
I’m working now on a dataset the includes insurance policies and economic barriers to equal birth access.