I could not find a link for this story from the New York Times News Service reprinted in the H-L today. The headline read “Infant mortality rates rise in the south”. Briefly, the article states that infant mortality in Mississippi (and other unnamed southern states) shot up from the low of 9.7 per thousand in 2004 to 11.4 in 2005. The national average was 6.9 in 2003, the last year such data is available.
This rise was attributed to increased incidences of obesity and to cuts in welfare, including Medicaid. Though the article did not say this, I believe the increase in obesity can also be tied to cuts in welfare. My family, in an attempt to eat better, has begun searching out healthier foods at the grocerie. Turns out, the healthier and more natural the food, the more it costs. Conversely, the more chemicals and crap in the food, the less it costs. Unfortunately, the cheapest food tends to do bad things to one’s body, like increase obesity.
So, during this tax filing month as you consider how you are paying less in taxes thanks to certain cuts and deductions over the last several years, remember that those tax dollars used to help fund welfare programs that helped keep these babies alive.