Let’s define our terms

For me, saying “This was written by Thomas Sowell” is usually sufficient for me to conclude that the article or book in question is required reading, utterly brilliant, and eminently quotable.  And this piece is all that.  Some excerpts:

Insurance is not medical care. Indeed, health care is not the same as medical care. Countries with universal health care do not have more or better medical care.

Those who think in terms of talking points, instead of trying to understand realities, make much of the fact that some countries with government-controlled medical care have longer life expectancies than that in the United States.

That is where the difference between health care and medical care comes in. Medical care is what doctors can do for you. Health care includes what you do for yourself – such as diet, exercise, and lifestyle.

Even for things that take longer to do you in – obesity, alcohol, cholesterol, tobacco – doctors can tell you what to do or not do, but whether you follow their advice or not is what determines the outcome.

Americans tend to be more obese, consume more drugs, and have more homicides. None of that is going to change with “universal health care” because it isn’t health care. It is medical care.

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