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Healthcare vs Health Care

During the 2020 election cycle, there were a large number of discussions about healthcare. Many of these arose from a position espoused by the Democratic side of the aisle; that health care is a right, not a privilege. I anticipate a similar reaction in 2024.

Let's take a look at what each political party has to say about health care.

Republicans: If you think health care is expensive now, wait until it's FREE!

Democrats: Universal Health Care: because people are more important than profit.

My View: In a free society, no one has the right to demand services from anyone else.


Republicans on Health Care

The overall goal for Republicans is to create a healthcare system that prioritizes individual choice, competition, and cost-effectiveness. The Republican Party generally advocates for a patient-centered healthcare system. This approach emphasizes free markets, competition, and cost reduction. Republicans believe that empowering patients to make choices about their health care leads to better outcomes.

"Some are blessed and some are cursed, the golden one or scarred from birth. While others only see the worst, such a lot of pain on the earth."


Democrats on Health Care

Democrats have been championing the cause of universal health care for generations. Their commitment to ensuring quality, affordable health care for all Americans is evident through programs like Medicare, the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obama-Care), and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Democrats are unwavering in their pursuit of a dream where every American should have access to quality health care and that no one should go bankrupt due to illness.

"If we're so much the same (like I always hear), why such different fortunes and fates? Some of live in a cloud of fear, some live behind iron gates."


My Views on Health Care (and Healthcare)

I definitely agree that overall medical costs (including surgical care, prescriptions, and yes, mental health care) should be far lower than they currently are, and that everyone should have access to health care, but I think that there is a very distinct difference between "healthcare" and "health care". (Perhaps you believe that I am clearly making an issue out of nothing or that this is merely a matter of semantics. I admit that such an evaluation could be accurate, but I also believe that words have power, and the words we use gives meaning and intent to the event.)

"The golden one or scarred from birth, some things can never be changed. Such a lot of pain on the earth, it's somehow so badly arranged."

Down to specifics, then.

Health care is two words. This refers to efforts made by trained and licensed professionals to maintain or restore well-being. I believe that this is an unalienable right. We absolutely need to exercise personal responsibility to take care of ourselves and our families, ensure that we receive proper nutrition, exercise, and all of that. But if we are injured or unwell, we should be able to receive the necessary medical care.(e.g., a doctor's visit, receiving a prescription, or a surgeon's expertise).

However, healthcare is one word. This refers to the business, institution, or activity offering medical services. Therefore, it is neither a right nor a privilege; it's a business, and unfortunately, businesses cost money so it's unlikely that we will end up getting this for a lower cost.

Unfortunately, there are few who make that distinction, so between two different ideas, and without a commonly-recognized context, there's been a lot more confusion and subsequent vitriol than there probably needs to have been. For instance, if one person was discussing "health care" and another interpreted it as "healthcare".

"Some things can never be changed, some reasons will never be clear. It's somehow so badly arranged if we're so much the same (like I always hear)."

But here's where I have my issue, and I've not been able to find a way around it. If health care (the service) is considered something to which everyone should have access regardless of cost, then those who provide these services become, in a very real sense, conscripted laborers. Paid, perhaps, but slaves nonetheless.

"Health care" may be a right, but in a free society, no one has the right to demand services from anyone else, with or without compensation.


The Issue of Health Care vs Healthcare

Here is an analogy that I can provide from my personal experience as an information technologies professional. "Hey, can you fix my computer? It's acting funny." The person who asked me this question had only just met me when she found out that I was an I.T. pro, but she had no problem presuming that I would be more than willing to look at her computer to fix a mysterious issue simply out of the generosity of my (coal black) heart. There was no discussion about my particular field of I.T. expertise, nothing about the computer itself, and no discussion about any payment for services rendered. Now, maybe it's because I was (at that time) an undiagnosed autistic, but to me, this was only a vague request and an expectation that I would, and could, resolve the mysterious issue.

"If we're so much the same (like I always hear), why such different fortunes and fates? Some of us live in a cloud of fear, some live behind iron gates."

I'm not a healthcare (or health care) expert; I am only an analyst. I am not going to try to excite you with a miracle answer to an issue that has been a problem for almost longer than I have been alive. I have a few ideas (like the one above) that align with my personal political philosophy, but others have pointed out flaws in those ideas, so I continue to consider the issue. After all, if I cannot figure out how to get health care for myself less expensively, how can I do it for you?

Committee to Elect Darren Hamilton
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