By Sy Mukherjee
May 7, 2019

Happy Monday, readers. I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend.

Alright, I’ll come clean up top… This sort of is about the royal baby. But only as a point of reference! (I understand if you feel betrayed or annoyed, it’s an occupational hazard.)

The birth of Prince Harry’s and Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle’s baby boy on Monday has, as the kids say, broken the Internet. It’s a story of the first biracial child in modern monarchy history. It’s also a story of the absurd costs borne by American mothers—costs that far exceed what literal royalty has to pay for births.

Here are some of the numbers: On average, Americans had to pay more than $10,000 for delivering a child in 2015. To be fair, much of this is covered by insurance (well, for people who have the right kind of insurance). Out of pocket costs can still number in the thousands, including for those who don’t have the luxury of being literal royalty.

At the famous Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital, home to numerous royal births, the price was less than $9,000 in that same year. And this is for a luxury suite that’s heavily subsidized irrespective of prince or princess status.

What do American mothers get in exchange for the financial disparity? A higher rate of complications (especially among women of color) and mediocre neonatal outcomes compared to just about every other advanced nation.

Read on for the day’s news.

Sy Mukherjee


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