Sunday, October 14, 2012

Health Care Prediction: Return of the Midwives

Hollywood has been running some documentaries and TV docuseries surrounding the cost of delivering babies + the general health care concerns of pregnancy + delivery. This is a subset fo the entire media complex of airing how expensive health care is, how it is complex and awful, and how we should do something about it. A popular one involving birth on Netflix is the "Business of Being Born". Babies keep coming, and will never stop. These media nuggets are preparing the nation for a return to widespread use of midwives.

It is true that having a kid involves high costs and seemingly nonstop use of high tech gadgets that create more concerns or scary moments than there really are. These docs spotlight those problems. They also spotlight the issue of c-section use. Usually, they avoid saying 'this is all to reduce liability in the event that some dirty lawyer tries to sue us', but you and I know that is at the heart of the matter. It is defensive medicine. Rather than put through tort reform (needed in general but necessary for all nationalized health care systems), the controlling liberal elite will gently prod us towards midwife usage. This is all about controlling costs for that eternal dream: universal healthcare.

Let's review the pitch:
1. Nostalgia: It returns us to a pre-medical professional past.
2. Feminism: Rekindles the woman to woman nature of delivery before those pesky MDs got involved.
3. Cost: Even when in hospitals, it is much cheaper per delivery + with the number of normal, regular risk deliveries this could be a huge cost saver to our medical system.
4. Technology: open, honest ratings of each midwife, and if in the hospital, if anything goes wrong tech is there to step in.

The table is set with the media spotlighting it. Targeting the SWPL set, PBS has a new British series import called "Call the Midwife". Being a midwife also appeals to educated women who want to be semi-attached to the workforce as they get paid per birth, as they can reduce hours for years when they have kids and bump back to normal hours when they want to without damaging their 'career'. It also appeals to women who don't want to go to med school but can use the status bump of delivering babies.

In 2003, the midwife attended birth rate was 8%, which was double the 1990 rate of 3.9%. By 2020, the midwife attended rate will be 20% and rising higher.


PRCalDude said...

A midwife delivered my second at Kaiser. It worked out really well - much better than the OB/GYN with our first.

peterike said...

Midwifery also fits completely into the green/crunchy mindset. I'm not entirely sure how it relates other than it's "natural" (so is dying from a small cut on your finger if it's not disinfected), but the same people that love Whole Foods and Neti Pots and want to rid the world of plastic bags, also love midwifery.

Which I guess means it's just another status issue, after all.