Each day when I leave the hospital, I find myself becoming more and more discouraged with the direction that America has taken.

I am seeing, firsthand, the effects of ObamaCare on families and their struggles to make ends meet. Hundreds of thousands of families are faced with incredibly high deductibles that they must meet before they’re able to be seen in hospitals. And even though I’m well aware that sometimes hospitals are not very good at bookkeeping, for decades, they have certainly provided billions of dollars of free medical care for Americans.

American emergency rooms are saturated with illegal immigrants who know perfectly well that doctors will provide them with health care. And so it goes, in the very complicated world of medicine.

A new study released by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that women between the ages of 20 and 24 during a recession are less likely to have children down the road. According to the study authors, approximately 151,000 women will remain childless by age 40 as a result of the Great Recession we experienced between 2008 and 2013. I’d like to argue that this number is an underestimation, because for thousands of Americans around the country, the Great Recession has not yet ended. It is a fallacy to think that our financial crisis has stopped affecting families – especially when it comes to family planning. Even in areas of this country where birth rates were increasing, these days, they are either neutral or on the decline. It used to be, in my profession, that a lot of women chose not to have children in their 20s because they were fulfilling academic goals or career plans, but now, there’s a third layer, which is – they just cannot afford to have a baby. And that is a sad state of affairs.

For more than five years now, many hard-working families have been living in a state of uncertainty. We used to live in a country where you got an education, you found a job and you built your life and community. Today, in the heartland of America, jobs are scarce, we fear for our safety, and our country is not the beacon of trust and respect that it once was to the world.

So, I understand why a young family may think twice about having children, and I hope that our leaders pay attention to this little study. It was buried in many newspapers, just a small column insignificantly placed, but it speaks volumes about our country.

In order for America to grow, we need children. As a famous poet once said: “Children are the hope of the world,” and here, they are the key to a brighter future.

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Click here for more information on Dr. Manny's work with Hackensack University Medical Center. Visit AskDrManny.com for more.