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With so many low-income people without health insurance, North Carolina has hundreds of thousands of reasons to expand Medicaid. Now here’s another: It could save the lives of infants.
A new report from NC Child funded by Community Catalyst and the Annie E. Casey Foundation focuses on North Carolina’s high infant mortality rate and how expanding Medicaid to low-income women could bring that rate down, especially for African-Americans and Hispanics.
The language of the report describes the problem in stark terms. It says, “For every 1,000 babies born alive in North Carolina, seven will die in their first year of life.” With about 121,000 births annually, that rate translates into an average of three infant deaths per day.
North Carolina has the eighth-highest infant death rate in the nation, a status that report puts in startling perspective. It says, “A baby born in North Carolina is less likely to live to celebrate her first birthday than one born in the neighboring states of South Carolina, Virginia, or Tennessee.
Ned Barnett, email@example.com