In any debate, it is reasonable and appropriate to ask the opposition to define the terms that it uses; in this case, “healthcare”. Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary (1977) does not list the term. So, whence came it?
“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” -George Orwell (1903-1950)
The origin seems shrouded in mystery. The best guess seems to be that it a governmentally-concocted, pleasant-sounding euphemism; it amorphously means caring for one’s health by whatever means. In contrast, “medicine” is not so pleasant-sounding; it specifically means caring for those suffering from disease or trauma.
“Healthcare” includes everything from washing your hair to brushing your teeth to cutting your toenails. Simply put, “healthcare” is not synonymous with medicine. Those who discuss “healthcare reform”, actually are discussing change in a system of delivering medical care to a population. Language has power.
Another clearly governmentally-concocted euphemism, “healthcare-provider”, includes anyone and everyone who promotes himself as rendering advice, assistance, or instruction in the care of one’s health. By replacing “physician”, “nurse”, etc., it is has accomplished its targeted goal; namely, to diminish the stature of the lynchpin in medical delivery, the physician. Language has power.
Physician, Medicine, Science
Physician. A word rarely heard in discussion of medical delivery. Another is “medicine”. A third, “science”. Instead, we hear non-medical “experts” spewing personal opinions often reflecting arrogant ignorance and abstract ideologies divorced from reality.
So, what is medicine? It the healing art based upon science, the mission of which is relief of suffering caused by disease and trauma. Its practitioners are known as physicians; those whom they diagnose and treat, patients. Language has power.
Cede the language. Cede the message,
Behavior and the Scientific Method
behavior n.: The manner of conducting oneself. –Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary
A patient’s seeking medical care is a behavior. A physician’s providing medical care is a behavior.
There is a science that describes behavior as well as thoughts, feelings, and physiological responses. Biobehavioral Science.
Never heard of it? Therein lies the problem not just for you but for nearly all humanity. Were American politicians conversant with Biobehavioral Science, they would not want you to hear of it; especially of its derivative, the Science of Human Behavior. Why? Specificity, Objectivity, and Accountability.
Scientific Method: An empirical procedure to acquire knowledge characterized by definition, observation, description, analysis, synthesis, and reproducibility.
The Scientific Method demands adherence to three, simple guidelines. They are the following: Specificity, Objectivity, and Accountability.
Specificity is defining events in a way that differentiates them from other events that may be similar but not identical. It is a necessary first element in any scientifically-valid paradigm.
Objectivity is describing events in a way that is observable and measurable. It incorporates specificity. It is a necessary second element.
Accountability is observing and measuring events in a way that is verifiable and amenable to being made public. It can be qualitative or quantitative. It is a necessary third element.
Little wonder that politicians and bureaucrats, whose stock and trade is deceit, actively resist even acknowledging the three guidelines in governing, let alone to employing them. The guidelines represent a fatal anathema to abstruse, politically-based, politically-driven policies and programs that have set these fragmenting, declining United States of America on fire.
Meanwhile, Biobehavioral Science affects you every day in every way — directly or indirectly, explicitly or implicitly. How? Engineering by commercial interests and by government. Consider gambling casinos, social media, and video games. Consider governmental pronouncements, for example, by the Federal Reserve Board.
In contrast, the Chinese are well aware of Biobehavioral Science. Borrowing from early work done by this writer and a few others,* not only are they employing its powerful technology directly and explicitly to control over one billion people via tokens called “social credits”, they are marketing their model to other nations.
*See, for example, Mann RA and Moss GR: “The Therapeutic Use of a Token Economy to Manage a Young and Assaultive Inpatient Population.” Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease 157: 1-9 (1973)
Yes, Science and Technology can be used for evil or good. In American medical delivery, a plan to use it for good has existed for a quarter-century but actively ignored by politicians, bureaucrats, and profiteers.
Be aware, any system not scientifically based and scientifically directed to deliver medical care must be fatally flawed and fated to failure — doomed to delivering care that is of decreasing availability and decreasing quality.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” ―Benjamin Franklin
Who cares? Operationally, few do until they fall ill or become injured. Too late!
We already are suffering from the Sovietization of American medicine; whereby, for example, you see “Doctor Nurse” not “Doctor Doctor” in a drug store or supermarket. When you do see “Doctor Doctor”, he — or increasingly she — is looking mainly at a computer-screen not at you. Why? In order to fulfill the increasing, regulatory demands of governmental bureaucrats for increasing documentation of decreasing care. Average time to gain a “Chief Complaint”? Nineteen seconds!
“For every complex and difficult problem, there is a simple solution, and it is wrong.” -H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)
Usually, Mencken was right but not always. Consider an exception — a scientific plan for medical delivery designed by a physician with expertise in the Science of Human Behavior and delivery of clinical programs — a plan that should be acceptable to Democrats (D) and Republicans (R); a plan characterized by the following, eleven benefits for every citizen:
01) Single-payer, universal coverage for basic services (D);
02) Private sector with competition (R);
03) Optional extended benefits (D, R);
06) Affordability for the nation (R);
07) Freedom from special taxes (R);
08) Minimal regulations (R);
09) Minimal bureaucracy (R);
10) Freedom from fraud at taxpayers’ expense (D, R); and
11) Accepted by insurance companies (R).
As stated above, one has existed since 1994, as presented in Healthcare Reform D.O.A. (Nominated for two, unsolicited, national awards by the academic arm of the American insurance-industry; now out-of-print.) and currently updated in the novel, Retribution Fever (2018).
Why do politicians and their handmaidens in Big Media continue to ignore it? Because you, too, are ignoring it. Behavior has its consequences. Ignore that fundamental fact at your peril!