Health Versus Health Care
Talk to Americans about health and the topic generally switches—immediately—to health care.
It makes sense. Health care is our Titanic.
In what other country do you spend 18% of your total economy on a crazy, dysfunctional system which ranks you 50th in the world for lifespan (according to the CIA). In the U.S. we have a “system” where appendectomies in the same market can cost $1,500 or $183,000, and debt collectors sit interviewing patients in ERs. With health care simultaneously critical to individual survival and bafflingly bizarre, no wonder people first want to talk about health care.
But that’s taking your eye off the ball.
Health is a much bigger issue than health care. Health is a social, political, and economic issue that speaks to national survival. A healthy economy requires a healthy population. A healthy population is also a resilient population, that can grow an economy and help create the kind of society people year for.
So what are some everyday definitions of health? Here are a few I’ve encountered: