Jun 30, 2017

U.S. mothers die in childbirth more than any other developed country

Biswaranjan Rout / AP

More U.S. mothers die in childbirth than in any other developed country, Vox reports. The maternal mortality rate in the U.S. — 26.4 deaths per 100,000 births — is three times higher than in the U.K., Germany, or Japan. It's eight times higher than the rate in the Netherlands and Sweden, two countries known for successful health care systems. And Texas has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world, with 36 mothers dying per 100,000 babies born.

Why it matters: The GOP health care plan proposes letting states opt out of the ACA's "essential health benefits" — a set of 10 categories of care that insurance plans are required to cover. One of the categories is maternity care.

Go deeper: A common cause of maternal death in the U.S. is placenta accreta, a condition in which a mother's placental tissue spreads throughout her body instead of containing itself to the uterus. This leads to severe internal bleeding, blood-clotting and, in many cases, death. A major risk factor for placenta accreta is a previous C-section delivery, which leaves residual scarring. Today, there are 60 times as many c-sections in the U.S. as there were in the 1950s.

But David Lagrew, an OB-GYN in California, told Vox that many of the C-sections performed in American hospitals are not medically necessary. Rather, they are convenient for the doctor or patient. Lagrew's organization, California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative, collects childbirth data from dozens of hospitals and analyzes which C-sections were necessary and which were not. He reports back to the hospitals to bring down their C-section rates.

This story has been updated to correct the description of how the Republican health care plan treats essential health benefits.

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There are warning signs that Nevada could be Iowa all over again

Former Sen. Harry Reid (D) lines up to cast an early vote for the upcoming Nevada Democratic presidential caucus. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The alarms are increasingly sounding over Nevada's Democratic caucus, which is just five days away.

Why it matters: Similar issues to the ones that plagued Iowa's caucus seem to be rearing their ugly heads, the WashPost reports.

China tries to contain coronavirus, as Apple warns of earnings impact

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

As China pushes to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus — placing around 780 million people under travel restrictions, per CNN — the economic repercussions continue to be felt globally as companies like Apple warn of the impact from the lack of manufacturing and consumer demand in China.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,775 people and infected more than 70,000 others, mostly in mainland China. There are some signs that new cases are growing at a slower rate now, although the World Health Organization said Monday it's "too early to tell" if this will continue.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health

Apple will miss quarterly earnings estimates due to coronavirus

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple issued a rare earnings warning on Monday, saying it would not meet quarterly revenue expectations due to the impact of the coronavirus, which will limit iPhone production and limit product demand in China.

Why it matters: Lots of companies rely on China for production, but unlike most U.S. tech companies, Apple also gets a significant chunk of its revenue from sales in China.