The researchers adjusted the numbers to account for factors such as the number of days that infants spent in the hospital. According to Leibowitz, it's difficult to fit in a circumcision if the baby is just there for a day.
Even with the adjustments, circumcision rates were significantly lower in states that didn't pay for the procedure through Medicaid, she said, adding that "not covering it under Medicaid sends a signal to recipients that this not a valuable procedure."
Robert C. Bailey, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said the poor are robbed of a chance to make a choice about circumcision because of the lack of funding.
"It's another way in which our health system is increasing inequality across the population," he said. "People who can't afford good health care are essentially being discriminated against by this policy."
Learn more about circumcision from kidshealth.org.
SOURCES: Arleen A. Leibowitz, Ph.D., professor, public policy, University of California, Los Angeles; Robert C. Bailey, Ph.D., professor, epidemiology, University of Illinois at Chicago; January 2009, American Journal of Public Health
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