The Instigator
mongeese
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
omelet
Pro (for)
Winning
15 Points

"A cap on your costs, but no cap on your benefit." - Nancy Pelosi

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/7/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,040 times Debate No: 10752
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (5)

 

mongeese

Con

http://www.realclearpolitics.com...

Resolved: A limit on the costs of health care does not result in a limit on the benefits of health care.
Limit - amount that may not be exceeded by law
Costs of health care - what a person pays their health insurance company, as determined by contract
Benefits of health care - what the health insurance company does for a person after that person needs the benefits, as determined by contract

Now, here's some common business logic: the quality of the product directly corresponds with the cost of the product [1].

Therefore, when a health insurance company is no longer allowed to charge high prices, it also has no reason to provide numerous benefits. A health care company would not give an average of $20,000 in benefits to a man paying only $10,000 in costs. That would go against business logic. The company would start losing money, and soon go out of business, and nobody would receive any benefits at all.

With that, I'll leave my opponent to argue in the contrary. Good luck to whoever accepts.

1. http://www.ingrimayne.com...
omelet

Pro

I thank my opponent for the challenge.

I affirm the resolution - a limit on the costs of health care does not result in a limit on the benefits of health care.

I accept all my opponent's definitions. I also would like to provide the following abbreviations:
HCC: Health care costs
HCB: Health care benefits

I have a three pronged method for affirming the resolution, and I have formed my arguments so that even if one prong fails, my other prongs will still be able to affirm the resolution.

====

PRONG I: "Limit" on HCB

====
While my opponent has attempted to show that a limit on HCC would reduce incentive for insurance companies to provide HCB (I will refute this claim in my other prongs), he has NOT even attempted to argue that a limit on HCC would create a LIMIT on HCB. Let's look at the definition of limit again: "amount that may not be exceeded by law." A reduced incentive for businesses to provide benefits does NOT satisfy this definition. The business is free by law to provide benefits in excess of their revenue. It is not the law that would prevent them from doing this, it is a sound business sense that would.

A legal cap on HCC does not in any way imply a legal cap on HCB. A legal cap on HCB would require that a law literally sets a maximum for how much benefit insurance companies may provide their customers. Such a law is not implied, and thus the resolution is affirmed.

====

PRONG II: HCC isn't the only possible source of revenue

====
Let us look at the definition of HCC. It is "what a person pays their health insurance company." If the government wants businesses to provide HCB that they usually would not based on HCC, the government may provide subsidies. While this is included in the company's revenue, and therefore the ability to provide HCB, it is not included in HCC, since it comes from the government, not from the individual.
Therefore, a limit on HCC does not even necessarily result in a lessening of incentive or ability to provide HCB, so that cannot be used as a rationale for assuming a limit on HCB.

====

PRONG III: Average value vs. an actual cap

====
Even total revenue from all sources does not create an actual cap (not even one enforced by the company rather than by law as the definition of limit requires) on HCB. The company would reign in its contract-making so that all contracts are seen to have an average benefit for the company, but that would not create an actual cap.

For instance, let us say that Jimbo is a seemingly very healthy man with no real risk factors. His insurance would already be cheap compared to that of most, due to the low perceived average cost to the insurance company of providing him with HCB. A limit on HCC would probably not even affect the terms of Jimbo's contract, since it wouldn't affect his HCC which is already low.

Now let us assume that Jimbo gets very unlucky, and due to an extremely unlikely set of events, he ends up requiring extremely large amounts of HCB, which his contract allows for (with the assumption, of course, that he's very unlikely to need it). But when he does need it, there is not an actual cap, except that that already would have existed in his contract. Note that HCB refers to the actual individual costs of healthcare to the insurance company, and NOT to the average cost as calculated by the company. The company may try to cap the latter, but they will not cap the former to any specific value.

That is all for now. I will clarify my arguments in the next round if necessary.
Debate Round No. 1
mongeese

Con

I would like to thank omelet for accepting this debate.

PRONG I: "Limit" on HCB

There is, in fact, a "limit" on the HCB. The limit on HCC puts a direct limit on the gross income of the company. As the HCB cannot exceed the gross income (otherwise the company would go bankrupt), the HCB is limited, by the law that health care companies are not allowed to print money.

The definition for "limit" does not require a direct limit. It can be satisfied by any limit resulting from a law.

PRONG II: HCC isn't the only possible source of revenue

Government subsidies would come from the people, so the people would be paying their health insurance companies through the government. A limit would still exist.
Additionally, the government does not have infinite money, so a limit would still exist, as the benefits cannot exceed the total money.

PRONG III: Average value vs. an actual cap

The problem here is that there is still a limit on the benefits. The company cannot grant more benefits to the people than it can afford. It is against the law to print money, so by law, the company's total income must be the limit of the benefits it can grant to the people who actually get sick.

That will be all for now. Good luck, omelet.
omelet

Pro

I'll just get right into defending my prongs.
====

PRONG I: "Limit"

====
My opponent argues that since the law would cap HCC and a cap on HCC would lead to the company not feasibly being able to survive while providing large benefits, that law would in fact cause HCB to be less than it would have been - which he claims fits the definition of "limit" he provided.

It does not. Let me go over the definition he provided again:
"amount that may not be exceeded by law."

To say that something may not be done by law means that it is strictly illegal, not that legislation happens to make people freely choose not to do it even though it's legal.

Allow me to provide an example illustrating the meaning and my opponent's misuse of it.

Let us say that a law is passed requiring a certain store to shoot their customers in a random location when they enter the store. This law would also happen to have the side effect of causing people to decide that it's not worth it for them to go to that store. However, it would not be true that "people may not enter that store by law." That implies that entering the store is actually illegal, not that a law happens to be in place that motivates people to freely choose to avoid the store when they could go in. May not ___ by law implies that there is a law specifically prohibiting some action, not that one's free choice to avoid something happens to be the result of a law that targets something else.

It is the same in our current discussion. A law limiting HCC would make health care companies freely decide to lower their output of HCB, but it wouldn't make it a legal obligation. This scenario does not fulfill "may not ____ by law."

====

PRONG II: Non-HCC sources of revenue

====
My opponent claims that since the government gets money from the taxpayers and the healthcare companies would get subsidies through the government, government subsidies therefore fulfill the definition of HCC.

This is again false. HCC is defined as "what a person pays their health insurance company, as determined by contract." First, a person's tax is not determined by contract, so it automatically cannot count as HCC. In fact, I'm not even going to go over the other problems here, because that pretty handily settles that. Government subsidies are not required by health insurance contracts, so even if they do count as people paying their health insurance companies, they don't count as people paying their health insurance companies as determined by contract, so they are not part of HCC.

====

PRONG III: Cap on actual benefits vs. cap on average benefits

====
My only defenses for this prong rely on one of my first two prongs having already been effective. Thus, this prong can pretty much be considered part of the other two prongs at this point. [For instance - my opponent notes that "the company's total income" "limits" the amount of HCB they can give a person, but my refutations here are just that total income can come from places other than HCC and the same argument I've already made regarding the definition of limit].

Good luck to my opponent, and I look forward to the thrilling conclusion to this encounter.
Debate Round No. 2
mongeese

Con

PRONG I: "Limit"

My opponent missed, and conceded, a very important part of my attack against this prong:
"As the HCB cannot exceed the gross income (otherwise the company would go bankrupt), the HCB is limited, by the law that health care companies are not allowed to print money."
The company going bankrupt would result in a huge limit on your benefits, because bankrupt companies give no benefits.

My opponent has conceded this prong; it is no more.

PRONG II: "Non-HCC sources of revenue"

My opponent claims that taxes are not by contract. However, the social contract [1] is what gives the government the power to tax. Because the power to tax is delegated by this social contract to the government, the taxes can be included in the HCC.

My opponent concedes all other attacks made by this prong, focusing instead on this one problem, which I have shown to be false.

PRONG III: Cap on actual vs. average benefits

My opponent has chosen to merge this prong with his conceded Prong I and his falsified Prong II. My opponent has no more effective points standing. Vote CON.

Thanks for this debate, omelet.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
omelet

Pro

PRONG I: "Limit"

It is in fact my opponent who has conceded an important point here. Last round, I stated that "May not ___ by law implies that there is a law specifically prohibiting some action." Even under my opponent's argument about it being illegal to print money, which leads to a cap on spending based on income, he has failed to either dispute my claim or show that not printing money is a law _specifically_ prohibiting having certain levels of health care spending.

This prong remains. Not that it need remain, since I still have another surviving.

1. A cap on total revenue implies a cap on potential total HCB, but NOT a limit. [see above]
2. If prong II is wrong, then total revenue can be said to be equivalent to HCC.
3. If prong II is wrong, a limit on the costs of health care does not result in a limit on the benefits of health care. [2]

PRONG II: "Non-HCC Sources of Revenue"

My opponent is correct that all I argued here last round was that money given from taxpayers to the government is not by contract. And I hold to that claim. My opponent's only argument against me was that there's a "social contract." However, social contract is not a contract at all. My opponent's own source seems to make this pretty clear: "Social contract describes a broad class of theories that try to explain the ways in which people form states to maintain social order." "A broad class of theories" cannot be a contract. But ignoring that minor semantics problem: it is set of theories that are quite flawed.

Note that my opponent's social contract argument is a new argument he just brought up last round, so I am not being unfair by responding.

A contract must actually be agreed upon.
Let us say that I claim the United States as my own. I then make the following law: that people are required to be nice to me, and if they do not wish to comply they must leave. I make this information available to all via the internet.

Let us say a man named Eric stumbles upon my rules on the internet. He reads my rules and proceeds to do one of two things.

Case 1: He's not nice to me
Is he breaking a contract? No, because he didn't actually agree to one.

Case 2: He's nice to me
Does complying to my rules mean that this is actually a contract? No, because he still has not accepted my terms. He has done just what I asked him to, but he has not been required to actually agree to the terms.

This is why social contract theory cannot be correctly applied to the American legal system. Note that this criticism largely appears in my opponent's own source under "Tacit Consent." The Social Contract implies that there is some sort of contract that is counted as being agreed upon just because people do what it says. As I showed in case 2, this cannot be a contract. A contract requires an actual agreement to its terms in full: it's "a written or spoken agreement intended to be enforceable by law" [http://www.askoxford.com...]. The law is analogous to the example I gave - all differences are irrelevant ones to the question of whether they are contracts or not.

So with that said:
1. Funds given to the government in the form of tax are not given by contract. [See above]
2. Funds given to the government in the form of tax that are then given to healthcare companies by no other contract cannot be considered part of HCC. [Definition of HCC]
3. HCC is not a measure of the total revenue of insurance companies; a limit on HCC does not limit subsidies to the insurance companies. [2]
4. Total revenue is the "limiting" factor for HCB (I use quotation marks because this does not meet the definition of limit we've agreed upon, but of course you disagree if you've discounted Prong I already)
5. A limit on the costs of health care does not result in a limit on the benefits of health care. [3, 5]

The resolution is affirmed if either of these prongs stands, since they each affirm the resolution separately. If you think all of my prongs have failed, I urge you to vote CON. If one or more of my prongs has survived, I urge a vote for PRO.

Thank you to my opponent as well as the readers and voters.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by XimenBao 7 years ago
XimenBao
Very classy, mongeese.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Yeah, I voted for you. The ultimate failure on my part was defining costs to be direct and by contract, and defining limits to be, in both cases, enforced by law.
Posted by omelet 7 years ago
omelet
Arguments to PRO? You mean you voted for me instead of for you?

To be honest, prongs two and three weren't really semantics arguments, though we did both end up tying them up with semantics eventually.

Prong two was just that a limit on a person's cost doesn't limit their benefit because the insurance could be partially paid for by the government, making it equivalent to the person having a more expensive plan but without the same cost to them.

Prong three was just that they would still be required to spend large, fairly limitless amounts of money on people who develop very unpredictable and costly complications. People who don't seem high-risk don't pay much for insurance anyway - a cap on costs wouldn't likely affect the price they pay, the contract they receive, or the potential benefits the insurance company is willing to bet they won't need but will offer anyway.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Funnily enough, whenever I slip up on my own definition, I lose, while when my opponent instigates a flawed definition in my favor, everybody screams semantics and vote-bombs.

Arguments to PRO.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Now that's just scary.
Posted by Clockwork 7 years ago
Clockwork
"Government subsidies would come from the people, so the people would be paying their health insurance companies through the government. A limit would still exist."

http://www.usdebtclock.org...
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by tBoonePickens 7 years ago
tBoonePickens
mongeeseomeletTied
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Vote Placed by XimenBao 7 years ago
XimenBao
mongeeseomeletTied
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Vote Placed by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
mongeeseomeletTied
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mongeese
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Vote Placed by omelet 7 years ago
omelet
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