I visit the CDC web site frequently to get the latest data on the swine flu. I've noticed an interesting (but not entirely unpredictable) trend over the last few weeks. Children who live in red states are exponentially more likely to die from H1N1 than in other regions of the country.
I am truly a DKos lurker; visiting the site several times per day, but I am rarely a diarist. I give that caveat, because I don't know how to add the image of the chart that he CDC provides with the numbers. So the link to the page that contains the relevant chart is found here:
This whole page is worth reading weekly, but I call attention to the last column in the first chart. Of 117 pediatric deaths attributed to H1N1, 69 of those deaths (59% nationwide) have occurred on 2 regions. Those regions include the following states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
To be fair, I haven't crunched the numbers to determine what percentage of the population resides in these two regions. However, it certainly isn't 59%. And if you compare the pediatric deaths in these regions to those that are probably the most populous (Regions 1, 2 and 9 - New England, New York, New Jersey and western states including California) whose total pediatric deaths total 14, it is clear that pediatric mortality is far higher in red states than blue states.
I do not know what is behind all the numbers - whether those who have died had certain medical conditions, or were at the poverty level, or had something else in common that predisposed the children in red states to die more frequently.
But that's not really my point. My point is that the Red States clearly need quality health care, and that government involvement is necessary to equal the playing field. Single-payer (or, failing that, a public option) would only HELP the people who live in these states to keep their children alive longer.
I don't know if this message is getting across to the congress members who represent those areas. But I hope the good people of those states question their reps on this every chance they get.