• Healthcare vs health care vs health-care

    If you read this blog, you know where I stand on this important issue. According to Google, the good guys are still winning, but the trend is worrisome. I’m happy to see the ridiculous “health-care” falling away.

    health care healthcare health-care

    (Click to enlarge.)

    Google’s stats don’t extend beyond 2008, so we’re missing the big health reform build up. The past may not be a perfect predictor of recent use.


    • Hah, I appreciate the chart, but, really, what’s the difference between health care and healthcare?? It’s clear to what both are referring, and neither include the distracting and grammatically incorrect dash.

    • The term is “health care” as in “Gummint supplied health care is not a human right.” The term is “healthcare” as in “Obamacare is a messed up healthcare policy.”

    • As a health care journalist, I typically follow the AP Stylebook when referring to “health care”. In the guide, we are required to spell it as two separate words with NO hyphen and not as one word “healthcare”. It’s really just stylistic.

      In college, however, we were taught that “healthcare” refers to what I receive from my physician and “health care” refers to the discipline or, possibly, the facility where the doc performs the services.

    • Ha ha. See my earlier comments at http://theincidentaleconomist.com/wordpress/testimony-on-the-medicaid-expansion/#comments

      Now then, get your electronic pen out and see if you’d change any of these:

      Baby sitting
      Back bone
      Cell phone
      Child care
      Cross walk
      Earth quake
      Fire works
      Foot ball
      Life time
      Play thing
      Scape goat
      Voice mail
      Web site

      (That’s enough – ed.)

    • “healthcare” more efficient when cramming thought into tweet.


    • Publication word limits may contribute to this variation. “Healthcare” counts as 1 word vs. 2 words for “health care”. The hyphenation looks like obvious word limit doctoring.

    • I like “healthcare”. Let’s just call is a word and move in.

    • I’m new here. Interesting place. On the subject of pedantic picking of nits, data properly still “are” — at least in science. I’ve not read enough here yet to determine if you are misusing the word.


      • “At least in science”


        But this is dependent on context as well: in computer science, data is singular. Period. Full stop. Always. It’s a mass noun. Obvously. I guess scientists see it as an abbreviation for “data values”. As someone with feet in all of humanities, science, and comp. sci., I find life very confusing. But comp. sci. being my first and true love, “the data are” grates something fierce. Sigh.

        (FWIW, the Microsofts style manual quite correctly insists on singular always and only, wiki says “Data is most often used as a singular mass noun in educated everyday usage.”, but the IEEE computer society wimps out and says “Follow author preference for use as singular or plural, but maintain consistency within an article (unless context clearly demands inconsistency)”.)

        • Sorry, “data is” marks you as a Rube. I don’t care what Microsoft (or Fowler’s) says. Though, people like me (I cut my professional teeth in a forensic radlab in Oak Ridge) are mercifully dying off.

          I once had this redneck Sup (PhD in Mechanical Engineering) when I worked in industrial diagnostics (digital FFT analyzers) who kept changing my “data are” edits back to “is” (“it just looks wrong”). Crew Cut Cracker also forbade me from using the words “atop” and “affixed” — e.g., “with the remote FFT sensors securely affixed atop the turbine housing.”

          “They look Faggy.”

          You and I, sir, will simply have to disagree.

    • Data “are.” But, then, I obviously have an agendum.

    • The European Journal of Health Economics changed ‘health care’ to ‘health-care’ in my proofs. Madness.

    • I prefer health care but really the most important point is to be consistent. In the past, I have worked for separate organizations with health care in the title and one spelled it health care and another healthcare. So when I put them on my resume, I have to use two different version. It’s amazing I’m employed.