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health care

Health care refers to services provided by medical professionals aimed at promoting physical and mental welfare, through the prevention, treatment, and management of illness. This includes care by the medical and allied health professionals, curative care for acute conditions, management of chronic disease, rehabilitation, and palliative care.

The US debate over health care centers on how Americans pay for medical coverage. Supporters of government-funded system argue that universal coverage saves lives and promotes public health, thus helps with economic productivity in the long run. Opponents believe that eliminating free market means loss of competition and decrease of care quality, plus possibilities of doctor shortage and tax increase. 

Finding Resources

Is it health care, healthcare, or health-care? In the US, most style guides favor "health care," as two separate words. British publications have increasingly used it as a single word, "healthcare."
  • Health care reform / health system reform
    • Universal health coverage
    • Affordable Care Act
    • Medicare for all
  • Medical care access
  • Medical care cost
  • Health insurance in the United States
    • Long term care insurance
    • Child health insurance
    • Medicare/Medicaid
  • Medical Policy
    • Abortion policy
    • Mental health policy


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About This Page

This page was originally developed by Ru "Lucy" Ngu.

Other contributors: Elaine Patton

First published: Spring 2021

Last updated: April 2024