Jim’s original “Healthcare cost and Maternity death” ratio is a good one to judge the effectiveness of those $ spent. “Healthcare cost and Obesity” I think is not.
They are both terrible indicators actually. Well, obesity is not an indicator at all - how fat people are has next to nothing to do with health care effectiveness. If people are obese, they will NEED good health care, but good health care won’t stop them from getting obese.
Maternal mortality rates are not quite as bad, but they’re still bad. Mothers die in childbirth for a variety of reasons, including poor maternal health care, but the quality of maternal health care is usually not the issue, in developed countries like the USA. Sometimes it’s a lack of access to maternal care, like if 3-4% of your population has no access to prenatal care - because they are living there illegally, for instance. That will do wonders for increasing your maternal mortality rates, but it has more to do with immigration policies, border control and the economic state of your neighbours than the quality of health care.
Other factors are involved in maternal mortality rates: obesity, income inequality, age of childbirth, for instance, all increasing the rates in the USA through no fault of the health care system.
Making the link between health care spending and maternal mortality rates (or obesity) is an easy way to criticize US healthcare, but it misdirects the argument, since no amount of health care reform will fix those problems.