Commonly referenced reports maintain that the United States has inferior health outcomes compared to other countries, despite its higher health care spending per capita. But according to an American Enterprise Institute study, these conclusions are the result of shoddy research. For example:
Teenage mothers are more likely to have preterm, low-birth-weight babies. The mortality rate for infants born to U.S. teenage mothers is 1.5 to 3.5 times as high as the rate for infants born to mothers ages twenty-five to twenty-nine. The US rate of births for teenage mothers is very high — 2.8 times that of Canada and 7.0 times that of Sweden and Japan. If the United States had the same birth weights as Canada, its infant mortality rate — adjusting for this variable alone — would be slightly lower than Canada’s (5.4 versus 5.5 per one thousand births).