Why We Need to Stop Saying 'Health Care'

The Democrats have once again sucked us into using their terminology, and it is much to our detriment.  We should be saying “Medical Care” instead of “Health Care.”

Here are two reasons we need to change our terminology.

1. “Health Care” has far broader implications than “Medical Care” does.  

“Universal “Health Care” meets the standard for the classic progressive goal -- it is vague, moral-sounding and completely unattainable so it will have a long shelf life.

The intensive use of this expression “Health Care” allows people to lump in all kinds of “well-being” issues.  This is dangerous, and was the main thrust behind ObamaCare.  If the cost of general well-being is the responsibility of the government, that confers huge power to the government.   If something politicians don’t like can be linked to well-being, then the government can stop it because it is too costly for the American taxpayer.

This kind of thinking leads to people like Michael Bloomberg doing things he personally thinks are “morally right.”  Remember this?

"A proposal in 2012 by former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to limit the sales of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces ignited a global debate over soda consumption."

Fortunately, this idea was knocked down in 2014 by New York’s highest court.  Mayor Bloomberg probably had good intentions from the perspective of the rarified world he lives in, but it was beyond pushy and thoughtlessly harmful to vendors and consumers both.

Far more dangerous are political issues -- and today everything is political.  A President Swalwell (God help us) would surely think semi-automatic guns are detrimental to the “health” of Americans and would be very costly to a single-payer plan.  Treating all those messy gunshot wounds are clogging the hospitals in Chicago. Clearly they have to go -- as a matter of fact, maybe all guns should go -- we can start with the law-abiders, then move on to the bad guys.

What else could be harmfully costly?  Nasty conservative criticism, right wing opposition that is upsetting to anyone, criticism of global warming, criticism of Islamists, eating meat, saying the Pledge of Allegiance -- all these and more can be throttled by the presumptive cost of their “health” effects.

2. “Medical Care” refers to the treatment of people by trained professionals.

This means an identified illness of an individual is mitigated by specific treatment by rigorously qualified people.

Doctors are expensive to make -- expensive for the person that wants to be a doctor, also requiring a substantial personal investment in time.  The time is taken from the most valuable and character-forming years of a person’s life.

Being a doctor used to be a ticket to wealth and respect.  That guarantee has been whittled down considerably.  In Florida, for example, the older population means most patients are on Medicare.  This means the doctor gets far less money than he might get from a private carrier. Medicare also comes with unbelievably complex reporting requirements that force most doctors to join medical groups that are not beneficial for them or their patients.  Private carriers pay more, but harass the doctors about their treatments and interfere with patient care. Being a doctor is not terribly pleasant.

The medical establishment is aggressively trying to lower its costs. Have you noticed how medical care is being pushed down to people with less-than-doctor credentials?  It is not unusual for the clerk that answers the phone at your doctor’s medical group to unilaterally decide you need to see a nurse practitioner instead of a doctor.  Walk-in clinics often have only nurses on duty.  

If we narrow our solutions to “Medical Care” instead of “Health Care,” maybe we can do something about the situation with doctors as well as hospitals and clinics.  

If we were to focus on delivery of medical services, we would be talking about mitigating the cost of medical school in exchange for a commitment to serve as a family doctor in areas that do not have nearby medical services.  Some of this is going on today, and the military also serves as an avenue to get a medical education, but surely we can do more.  No one talks about free medical school tuition -- that might be something we could work with.  Maybe we can have more doctors than everyone else instead of more lawyers than everyone else.

“Medical Care,” with a properly circumscribed definition, is more straightforward to quantify and address than “Health Care.”  It is not as subject to political manipulation and liberal abuse.  

This approach would address the largest of the traditional medical care issues, which would allow us to define and quantify ancillary well-being issues and craft targeted solutions for them.  These would be things such as:  the opioid epidemic, prescription drugs, hospice care, mental health care, veterans’ special requirements, and more.  The main issue of traditional medical care never gets solved because the waters keep getting muddied by emotionally dramatic politicized rants.  If abortion and birth control were handled separately from broken arms and heart attacks, a solution might be negotiated to this true social conundrum.  Instead, we are holding the whole approach to keeping Americans well as hostage to screeching harpies that want “health care for women.”  This has led to bizarre “compromises” like ObamaCare forcing 60-year old single men to have an insurance policy that includes pregnancy benefits.

“Health Care” is a progressive semantic trojan horse.  It is being used to drag us all into a political pit.  It is not a “human right,” whatever that is.  A God-given right in this country is something like the pursuit of happiness, not the blunt instrument of government assurance of the well-being of the majority in a format that can be used to bludgeon opponents in the left’s frenzied power grab.