Why should childbirth bust a budget?


American Way of Birth, Costliest in the World (New York Times)

From 2004 to 2010, the prices that insurers paid for childbirth — one of the most universal medical encounters — rose 49 percent for vaginal births and 41 percent for Caesarean sections in the United States, with average out-of-pocket costs rising fourfold, according to a recent report by Truven that was commissioned by three health care groups. The average total price charged for pregnancy and newborn care was about $30,000 for a vaginal delivery and $50,000 for a C-section, with commercial insurers paying out an average of $18,329 and $27,866, the report found.

Women with insurance pay out of pocket an average of $3,400, according to a survey by Childbirth Connection, one of the groups behind the maternity costs report. Two decades ago, women typically paid nothing other than a small fee if they opted for a private hospital room or television.

This is essential reading today.

Having a baby won’t just put you in debt; it could cripple you financially.

There’s a disconnect here that goes way beyond astonishing. Political and social conservatives across the country want to ban abortion and drastically limit or extinguish sex education and the availability of birth control.

Sex ed? Nope. Condom distribution? Nope. Plan B? Nope. Abortion? Nope.

Sounds to me like a prescription for a skyrocketing maternity rate.

So why aren’t conservatives rallying to do something about the skyrocketing cost of having a baby? Who’s going to take the lead on this?

Palin? Huckabee? Bachmann? Perry? Rubio? Cruz? Paul? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?