The Wall Street Journal tells the story of Deja Donegan, a five-week-old preemie born to a single mother on welfare. The story of Deja serves to illustrate a large issue facing the medical community today: health professionals are spending millions of dollars to "try to make a dent in the distressingly high infant-mortality rate among African-Americans," but are under tremendous amounts of pressure from HMOs to discharge those babies as soon as their condition improves. This is a particularly grave problem because many of the babies treated come from lower income homes. When the babies are released -- sometimes earlier than the doctors would prefer -- they are often not going to well-equiped, warm homes. This can cause these million-dollar babies to have more medical problems later in life.
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