Not racial. Financial...though, I don't blame the hospital at all.
A few years ago, a good friend of mine had a baby at the same hospital I had my two in. She was on Medicaid, and did not get the same level of care that I, a self-pay patient, did. Her nurses didn't change the way they treated her--they brought her water, juice, snacks, and anything else she asked for, as well as helping her with her personal care, and with caring for her baby.
No, the telling difference was this: as a Medicaid patient, she was never notified that the hospital had a lactation consultant, and that she could request a consultation appointment. She never learned that no mother starts out with adequate milk, that we all start out with a very little colostrum (which is all baby needs right at first), and that milk comes in as the baby keeps nursing. So, without a meeting with a lactation consultant, she didn't know that, and nobody that did know told her. She wanted to breastfeed her baby, but thought she couldn't, so wound up feeding the baby with formula.
This didn't happen just once. It happened both times with both children she had at that hospital.
I suspect that, if she'd known about the lactation consultant going in, and had asked, she never would have been turned down, but that's not the point. I was told by the hospital administration when I filled out the insurance claim after having my son eight weeks early, and when I filled out the self-pay paperwork before I had my daughter. She was not told at any point during her check-in or stay.
I suspect that, once Mandatory Medicaid (otherwise known as Obamacare) comes into play, the lactation consultant will only be made available by the hospital to those individuals who self-pay, or who pay through the nose for what will swiftly become inadequate private insurance. Once those are made against the rules to accept (like Canada did), the lactation consultant will more than likely be forced out of the hospital altogether, to cut costs. Never mind that a good start in breastfeeding will cut costs just by itself, with the boost to the baby's immune system, and a lower cost to the WIC voucher system (formula costs something over $400/month!). That's long run savings. They won't have the ability or the authority to go with long term thinking--they'll be government workers: well paid on the part of admin, and indentured servants on the part of the actual medical staff.
I also suspect that, once Mandatory Medicaid comes into play and the triage and rationing starts, cases like my mother's won't be treated at all any longer. After all, my mother is on the older side, in poor health, and is a net drain on the system. It won't matter if she's a taxpayer or not, they'll just send her home to die because she won't be worth it in their numbers game.
Because numbers don't have grandchildren that adore them.
1 hour ago