Jun 30, 2017

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

Erica Pandey, author of @Work

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.

Go deeper

Trump to end Hong Kong’s special trade status

President Trump. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump announced on Friday that the U.S. would be fundamentally changing longstanding policies toward Hong Kong as a result of Chinese encroachment on the city's autonomy.

Why it matters: Trump said he would be effectively ending the special trade status that has allowed Hong Kong to flourish as a gateway to the Chinese market. That leaves an uncertain future for businesses that operate in Hong Kong, not to mention the city's 7 million residents, and could be met with reprisals from Beijing.

Updated 54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Police officer in George Floyd killing charged with third-degree murder

A protester with a sign with George Floyd's last words. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer involved in the killing of George Floyd, was charged Friday with third-degree murder and manslaughter, according to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

The state of play: Freeman said that the delay in Chauvin's arrest, which came four days after Floyd's death on Monday, was due to the need to collect sufficient evidence — and that it was "by far the fastest" his office had charged a police officer. He added that he also anticipated charges against the other three officers involved in Floyd's arrest and death, but refused to elaborate.

Updated 54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 5,871,347 — Total deaths: 362,554 — Total recoveries — 2,463,332Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 1,731,035 — Total deaths: 102,201 — Total recoveries: 399,991 — Total tested: 15,646,041Map.
  3. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  4. Supreme Court: Senators Grassley, Leahy urge Supreme Court to continue live streams post-pandemic.
  5. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  6. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.
  7. 🚀 Space: How to virtually watch SpaceX's first crewed launch Saturday.