Maternity medical crisis

As we approach this year’s open enrollment period for health insurance, I continue to be shocked and disappointed about almost everything I learn about the US Healthcare system. Before I return to notes about my own experiences and my own health, maternity care is another healthcare topic that doesn’t often get discussed, as the average American prepares to pay more than $10,348, per person, per year on healthcare.

While many argue about the definition of single payer, and if it would lead to socialism (and what that is?), the inefficiency, mistakes, cost and just outright expense of what should be routine treatment, continues to make me despair.

America has healthcare snobs, millions of them, they just don’t realize that while they might have great access to medical facilities and Doctors, that doesn’t mean it’s always good, or that the system acts in their best interest. However, any suggested change is met with claims of death panels, socialism and more. Oft heard is also they ‘don’t want the Government in the healthcare.’

Even I was left speechless as I watched a recent CBS Sunday Morning segment on maternal healthcare. Among the points made were:

  • U.S. “most dangerous” place to give birth in developed world
  • The United States is ranked 46th when it comes to maternal mortality. That’s behind countries like Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan.
  • “Sixty percent of the deaths in the United States are preventable,”
  • At least two women are dying every day

And it’s not about access to healthcare; it’s not about the poor without insurance; yes, there is a racial element, but it’s not what you’d think. Here is the entire segment, well worth watching before you enroll this year.

| Edit: The embedded video doesn’t apparently load in some browsers, so here is a direct link to the CBS This Morning web page.

Can it be true that women giving birth in America are more at risk than women in dozens of other countries?

Free Speech, Censorship?

NEVER READ THE COMMENTSThis blog is about the uselessness of the comments sections of many business websites. Yes, I’ve been around long enough to know to never read the comments.

News websites, especially local ones, have jumped into the Internet as a way to make money, save their business or just as a low overhead way to extend their reach. Comment sections help create a local online community.

When a business has bad behavior in their store, their office, their bar, bad by their definition, they typically take action.Why don’t businesses do the same online?

Picture the scene, it’s the reception hall/entrance of a local TV station, a reporter has just read out a news report, a young woman, cycling to raise money for a cancer charity was struck and killed by a truck. Within seconds, someone shouts out:

You moronic cyclists deserve what you get.

To which, someone else shouts back:

I hope you, your wife, your parents, and your children die of horrible pancreatic cancer. Seriously, please die horribly. Not quickly.

security would be called, the protagonists would be ejected from the building, if it the argument carried on outside, the Police would be called, arrests would likely to made. By doing this, was the business censoring free speech?

Absolutely not, they were passing judgement, on acceptable behavior on their private property. They were, if they had any sense, protecting their business image in the local community, their brand image in the broader sense as well. While there are some businesses that would tolerate this behavior, most would not. Similar issues came up recently following the entirely legal behavior of “open carry” advocates here in Texas, a number of business now publicly ban open carry, even though it is legal and, like free speech, an amendment right.

And so it was I went to read to day the news of a cyclist who had been killed. The article itself while deep on details about the cyclist, had no details of the accident itself, the cause, driver etc. So I read down into the comments.

As a result, I’ve written this email tonight, and would encourage others to do the same. I attempted to find more direct email addresses, but this one should get answered, it is included on the Investor relations page.

PLEASE PASS THIS COMPLAINT ONTO KURT WOLFF, Editorial Leadership and Content Strategy, at CBS LOCAL, or to another appropriate senior executive for review, and cc: this email address, thank you.

Sir, I live and work in Austin Texas. I was drawn to the CBS Local Baltimore website as the result of a google query while research recent cycling deaths. Irrespective of what I think about drivers and cyclists, the comments on this page are disgusting, offensive and bring shame to the CBS Local brand and the Baltimore affiliate.

This not is about free speech, it’s about the shameful lack of moderation, oversight and appropriate behavior on CBS property. I would strongly encourage you to review the web page specifically and remove comments, or to shut down and block comments completely on a subset of your pages. Is this really consistent with what your brand stands for?

Despite being an industry/Internet veteran, I was so appalled I stayed up late tonight to write this blog entry and complaint.