The problem for McCullough is that she was asked a trick question. The correct answer was neither “right” nor “privilege,” and not even “world peace.” And it’s this confusion that exists at the heart of the contradictory and damaging policies in place that drive costs out of reach for many Americans.

Health care consists of goods and services produced and delivered by highly specialized providers in exchange for monetary compensation. Overall, it’s a commodity, for which the terms “right” and “privilege” are largely meaningless. In an economic sense, health care is no different than markets for other commodities, such as food, vehicles, fuel, and so on. The ability to purchase goods and services depends on the resources one has for compensation for their delivery in most cases.