Saturday, May 6, 2023

The impact of state fiscal policy on infant mortality

Jean Junior (Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellow, Boston Children’s Hospital) et al., Association for Statewide Fiscal Policy and Infant Mortality in the United States, 1996-2019:

This cross-sectional study examines the association between state-level tax policy and state-level infant mortality in the US overall and by race and ethnicity. …

In this cross-sectional study, an increase in tax revenue and the Suits tax progressivity index were associated with a decrease in infant mortality. These associations varied by race and ethnicity. Fiscal policy is an important and modifiable social determinant of health that can influence infant mortality at the state level.

There were 148,336 infant deaths in the US from 1996 to 2019, including 27,861 Hispanic infants, 1,882 non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native infants, 5,792 non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander infants, 41,560 non-Hispanic Black infants, and 68,666 non-Hispanic infants. hispanics. Hispanic white infants. The overall infant mortality rate was 6.29 deaths per 1,000 live births. Each $1,000 increase in tax revenue per capita was associated with a 2.6% decrease in the infant mortality rate (aIRR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.95-0.99). A 0.10 increase in the Suits index (ie, greater fiscal progressivity) was associated with a 4.6% decrease in the infant mortality rate (aIRR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.91- 0.99). Increased fiscal progressivity was associated with decreased infant mortality for non-Hispanic whites (aIRR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.91-0.99), and increased tax revenue was associated with increased infant mortality for non-Hispanic blacks (aIRR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.01-1.08).

Institute of Tax and Economic Policy, Taxes save babies’ lives:

A compelling new test over several years and several states found that babies are more likely to survive to age one in states that collect the most revenue and get it from those with the most ability to pay. Generating taxes from wealthy people and corporations can help babies make it to their first birthday.

(Hat Tip: Francine Lipman)

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