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The Contender
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22 Points

All Americans should be entitled to health care

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/12/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 11,686 times Debate No: 13358
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (5)




To begin:
-In this debate health care shall be defined as a universal government run health care system
-I would like to refrain from arguing specifics of health care provisions but I will fully accept arguments on the effectiveness of government health care

Resolution: All Americans should be entitled to health care

So with this in mind I would like to open my argument:
In the status quo, millions of Americans have had and will continue to have serious medical illnesses and will be required to pay vast amounts of medical bills. In the interests of this debate, I will list the reasons to prefer the resolution to the status quo:

1. Many Americans are unable to pay for their health expenses even though not at fault, this creates a situation in which a person's right to live is judged by their income. Governing a person's right to live by income is bad because it advocates that a a person who is very morally just and has contributed greatly to society is worth less than another person who has cheated his way to wealth. My argument is simple, government run health care is better because your state of health is not determined by your financial worth.

2. The privatization of health care is bad because the most successful health care company is the one that makes the most money which means that a person's health isn't held as importantly.

3. Children born to families in lower economic conditions will also suffer from decreased health even though the child has done nothing to deserve that status.

4. Health care costs are unaffordable and bankrupting Americans. In 2007, 62.1% of all US bankruptcies were related to medical expenses and 78% of these bankruptcies were filed by people who had medical insurance(1)(2).

5. In order to protect the interests of all Americans, universal health care is the best option to counter epidemics like bird flu.

6. The Preamble of the US Constitution clearly states "to promote the general welfare" of the people.This justification alone is enough to show all Americans should have the right to health care because it "promotes the general welfare."

These are all reasons why governmental health care solves best for moral and economic factors. In conclusion, universal health care is a moral imperative to insure that freedom and equality is preserved in the US.


Many thanks to my opponent for beginning this debate.

Pro begins by saying many Americans are unable to pay for their health insurance through no fault of their own. While that may be true, indeed there probably are people who are unable to pay through absolute fault of their own (eg. their own irresponsibility). Because the resolution is inclusive and states that ALL Americans be entitled to health care, we must assume that this includes those who could probably afford health care but through their own choices can or do not. In that case, I posit that these people - therefore not ALL people - are not entitled to health care.

Let's also consider what makes someone "entitled" to health care. Pro says having more money does not entitle one any more than another to health care and to that we can agree. In fact nobody is *entitled* to health care because that would require FORCE upon another individual (the health care provider) to give care whether they want to or not. Now, one being wealthy is not anymore entitled than a poor person to health care under this standard. That's because the health care provider may choose to care for someone regardless of their ability to pay or not - that's their choice (though admittedly most use money as a standard for service). Should doctors be frowned upon for wanting to profit off their hard work, skilled labor and to pay back school costs? Most people work not only to make ends meet but to profit.

In this debate, I will prove that nobody is *entitled* to health care, let alone ALL Americans. Health care is a service; not a right.


1. Essentially Pro is saying that doctors should be forced to give everyone service whether they have the ability to pay or not. Now, suppose through government aid money was not an issue and anyone could "afford" care. Should doctors be forced to care for someone even without money being a factor? That's what all Americans being "entitled" to health care implies. Nevertheless, government run health care has a bunch of problems I will continue to establish throughout the debate...

2. A company becomes successful by having a lot of people purchase insurance from that provider (otherwise they would have no money). If these companies did not provide a good product or service -- i.e. not take care of their customers the way they should -- then these customers would leave, and the company would get a bad reputation meaning they'd lose customers and no longer be successful. It is contrary to their best interest to not care about their customers' health.

3. First, let's point out that the resolution refers to ALL Americans - meaning I can say that all children should get health care, and this contention would fail to sustain the resolution. Second, regardless of how unfortunate this circumstance may be, I don't know if it's fair to force people to give care (see: previous arguments).

4. Pro points out that 62% of bankruptcies have arisen due to medical expenses. While many of these people had health insurance (though we don't know how minuscule their policies might have been) a quarter of them did not. Once again, we're delving into the area of people who choose not to have health insurance but say choose to have a cell phone or cable television instead. Additionally, saying health care costs are unaffordable is a generalization -- we don't know the individual circumstances of these individuals to determine whether or not this statement is accurate to all costs in general.

5. Drastic situations like caring for possible pandemics could be considered on an as-needed basis.

6. The meanings of words change over time. An 1828 edition of Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language defines 'welfare' as:

WEL�FARE, n. [well and fare, a good going; G. wohlfahrt; D. welvaard; Sw. valfart; Dan. velf�rd.]
1. Exemption from misfortune, sickness, calamity or evil; the enjoyment of health and the common blessings of life; prosperity; happiness; applied to persons.
2. Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the ordinary blessings of society and civil government; applies to states.

A clear distinction is made with respect to welfare as applied to persons and states. In the Constitution the word "welfare" is used in the context of states and not persons. The "welfare of the United States" is not congruous with the welfare of individuals, people, or citizens [1].


1. Government agencies are not efficient and tend to be greatly unsuccessful. Examples include Social Security and Medicare. Why suppose the government can do something right in this instance when government has always greatly failed us in the past? Even "successful" examples of government programs like the army, I'd argue, are completely inefficient and have problems of their own (Military Industrial Complex, imperialism, DADT, etc.).

2. Market competition would be more effective at price reduction and protecting personal freedoms. The government could use this as a platform to ban smoking, for instance.

3. Just because some rich people can afford increased taxes doesn't mean the hard working middle class deserves this extra burden, and/or that spending in other areas (like defense and education) should be cut for everybody. It's not only impractical but unjust to force responsible and healthy innocent parties to care for *everyone.*

4. Tax payers will be swamped with costs because *far* more people would seek treatment, care, medication, etc. over-burdening the whole system. This would not only devastate the American economy but subsequently many lives and livelihoods while profiting only a certain class.

5. Emergency rooms MUST treat people. That means even the uninsured still receive care; they just have to somehow eventually pay back the costs. That option is more fair than forcing socialized costs to everyone.

6. The government (tax payers) will likely bear the costs of malpractice lawsuits, once again burdening irrelevant and innocent parties.

7. Political ideological differences will divide people and become problematic in the future. For instance, should this care provide money for abortion? Is that fair to pro-life tax payers?

8. I'd like to expand on my notion that health care is not a "right." Pro hasn't proven that it IS a right; that is, something that one is 100% guaranteed and must be given to them simply for being human.

9. We already have a shortage of doctors this country [2]. This policy could (a) dissuade people from becoming doctors if their profit incentives are limited; (b) create long waits for treatment; (c) create an inefficient and expensive bureaucracy to "oversee" things; (d) all of the above.

That's all I have room for, for now :)

Debate Round No. 1


Thanks to theLwerd for accepting this debate

To begin, I would like to focus on what this debate ultimately comes down to, whether or not all Americans have the right to health care. In the first paragraph offered in the previous con argument, con states that because there are many people who are irresponsible and don't have health care, health care is not a right to all people. This is recklessly unjust for many reasons. In a world in which con advocates, an exceptionally morale philanthropist with similar income to a drug dealer would be put in the same group. In other words, the government can't distinguish the irresponsible person who doesn't get health care because of lazy behavior from another hard working person. I would rather live in a world in which the resolution existed because my right to live wouldn't be judged by my value to a corporation(by value to a corporation, I mean $). This basic advantage has yet to be answered by con.

In the second paragraph, con argues the resolution is wrong because it puts force upon the health care providers and unjustly. However, if this argument was considered a disproof to the resolution then not only would government run health care be wrong, but in fact all rights you hold would be unjust. Take the education industry for example, is your entitlement to education wrong because government control is being applied? The answer is no, because government regulation doesn't create any more burdens than the profit driven status quo. Doctors and hospitals will get paid just as much and will therefore have just as much drive.

Quite a few arguments were made in the previous con round so in order to sufficiently answer all arguments made, I will go in the same order as con but I will not have enough room to make any new arguments.

This section is for answers to the previous round's con rebuttals

1. My original argument in this advantage was "government run health care is better because your state of health is not determined by your financial worth". Con responded with "Pro is saying that doctors should be forced to give everyone service". This argument really doesn't apply to the resolution, all that the government has to do in the resolution is pay the medical bills. This imitates what the private sector does already, health care companies pay doctors for providing their practice. The medical industry would make just as much money if not more therefore creating a better world.

2. The con argument made in the previous round is centered around how well a company can care for a persons health. The answer is yes, a company can provide good care for a person but sadly the only way a person can receive good coverage is with money. Because government officials are elected, there is no absence of free market within the pro resolution.

3. The original argument I presented was " Children born to families in lower economic conditions will also suffer from decreased health", the con answered by saying that this doesn't uphold the resolution because the resolution refers to "all Americans". Look to my previous arguments, there is no way the government can distinguish those who "deserve" health care from those who don't, even if you don't buy my argument that everyone deserves health care then at the very least those who deserve and need health care will get it at the cost of a few lazy people getting health care.

4. This argument is simple, large health care corporations charge large fees in an effort to gain larger and larger profits, the government is not a for profit corporation therefore making a cheaper and more efficient health care system. Americans will have to pay less for health care and insure lower amounts of bankruptcy and poverty as supported by my evidence.

5. In round 1 I had stated that government health care is the best way to counter pandemics and I think that this was a bit of an overlooked argument. First, I will begin with an example: a new epidemic called disease x has just been found and is spreading throughout the United States, luckily a group of researchers have been able to create an antidote to counter the disease that could be distributed to all Americans, what should the U.S government do? Now, most people would say the U.S should distribute the antidote which I think is absolutely right and if con agrees with this then they therefore agree that U.S government should give health care to all of it's citizens. Second, lets begin even before "disease x" became an outbreak, lets begin with say 3 or 4 people who originally developed the disease. Say those people didn't have health insurance and never went in for checkups at a hospital, the disease would go unnoticed and spread. Both of these proofs show why a universal right to health care not only holds an intrinsic moral good but also a utilitarian good.

6.In an effort to preserve text and keep from a literary definition battle, I will drop this advantage

In this next section I will give a short rebuttal to the con arguments

1. Please read the evidence attached, the particular article lists several countries (particularly France and The Netherlands) with great health care systems, in order to win this argument, con MUST prove that the U.S couldn't imitate any of these other systems.

2. Look to advantages 4 and 5, I won't repeat those arguments. In addition, con has burden of proof for the introduction of this argument and must prove that market competition would "be more effective at price reduction and protecting personal freedoms". Until then, there is no reason to prefer this argument.

3.I have a few different arguments here. First, health care doesn't necessarily mean massive tax increase, for instance, other social services could be cut or marijuana could be legalized and taxed (also distracting everybody from any tax increase that could happen) or even a massive government bake sale:) Second, even a small tax increase would still be outweighed by the massive advantages.

4. Look to last argument, health care doesn't mean tax increase.

5. Emergency rooms are actually a reason to prefer resolution because although it is true that E.R's are required to treat you, don't be suprised to see a massive bill afterwards. Con also admits that E.R's give the right to everybody to get health care so when the con says that E.R's are good then the resolution is actually defended.

6. I don't fully understand this argument, if con continues this argument I will answer it in the next round.

7. Essentially what con is saying is that health care will be consumed by political ideologies, but there is no logical reason to believe that pro-life for instance will be pushed any harder.

I'm out of space, more 2 come later


Thanks, Pro.

First, I never said that health care is not a right because of some people's irresponsibility. I pointed out how irresponsible people would abuse the system, therefore even if health care is an entitlement (which it isn't), they should lose this right because of their own choices -- thereby negating the resolution that ALL people should be entitled to care. Pro says that good people in society should not be punished for the irresponsibility of others, and that he doesn't want his "value" judged by a corporation. Both of these things can be thwarted by my description of exactly why health care was not a right in the last round.

As I've explained, making a health care a right would require *force* upon health care providers to give you service. A health care provider should have the option of providing treatment and care regardless of whether they use money as the standard for their service or not. To say otherwise posits that other people MUST service you. This is non-sensical and immoral.

Suppose you are alone on an island. You'd have the right to your life, your pursuit of happiness, etc. In other words you don't need anybody else for these things and nobody can infringe upon these things or take them away from you. That is what a right is. If you said you had the RIGHT to health care, who would treat you on the island? If you need someone else for something then it is not your right. I've explained this as the first and foremost reason of why Americans are not *entitled* to health care. Health care is a privilege.

Pro gives an example of our education system, and challenges whether or not we have a right to education.I disagree with my opponent and his flawed example: education is NOT a right insofar as you do not have the RIGHT to have other people teach you. You do have every right to pursue an education (and usually that requires teachers) but you do not have a RIGHT to education. Pro simply saying "Of course you have this right" is not evidence in any way whatsoever that it's in fact a right. Rights are inherent to all human beings; there is nothing INHERENT about somebody else servicing you.


1. Pro writes, "...All that the government has to do in the resolution is pay the medical bills. This imitates what the private sector does already, health care companies pay doctors for providing their practice. The medical industry would make just as much money if not more therefore creating a better world." First of all, "the government" does not exist. The government is merely comprised of a bunch of tax payers. Pro is saying all tax payers should be forced to pay for everyone else's medical bills, and I've argued ad nauseum throughout the debate why this is both impractical and immoral. Moreover it will make the medical sector more money because they will drive up medical costs to increase their own profit which will greatly hinder everybody else. I've explained that competition is a more effective way to drive down costs and benefit everybody.

2. In R1 Pro said that companies don't care about people's health. I explained that companies do care about people's health, because otherwise they'd get a bad reputation, lose customers and lose profit. Pro agrees that companies can care for people but says they need money for care. Yes, people need money for care... so? The point here is that his original contention of companies not caring has been negated. I've acknowledged that needing money for care is a harsh reality of the service industry, including medical services.

3. Pro said that poor children would suffer. I pointed out that even if children were insured by government, that this contention would be irrelevant because Pro must prove that ALL Americans are entitled to care - not just children. This is simply his appeal to emotion fallacy.

4. I pointed out that we don't know anything about the details of cases for those who went bankrupt with medical costs. Pro ignores this and responds by saying medical care companies only care about profit and that the government is not for profit. Government is absolutely out for profit; politicians earn a lot of money not only from tax payers but based on the political deals they make. Pro says that since the government is not out to profit, health care costs will go down. On the contrary, I've explained in the last round exactly why medical care costs are expected to skyrocket under new government policies. Pro never addressed any of those reasons so here I'll provide several sources to back my claim [1, 2].

5. Pro again introduces the example of a possible pandemic. I said this could be addressed on an as-needed basis, because the likelihood of such an event is significantly low and far too low to affirm the resolution. Once again if this were to arise the government could choose to interfere for everyone's best interest, but it's completely non-sensical to base massive, expensive government overhaul on the unlikelihood of such an event.

6. I accept the dropped argument.


1. I gave a plethora of examples of completely failed government systems. Pro says I must prove that the U.S. system could not imitate other "successful" systems. On the contrary he has the burden of proof, and moreover even if we COULD imitate these systems, that STILL would not make people *entitled* to care even if our system would be successful based on my aforementioned reasoning.

2. The laws of supply and demand are best evident in a competitive market. Competition causes businesses to try new ways to attract customers by lowering prices, improving quality and developing new products and services [3]. This is why market completion would drive the prices down; my opponent hasn't proven otherwise. He's also ignored my point about the government trying to legislate certain freedoms away (like smoking for instance) which they'd have the authority to do if they paid for care.

3/4. I pointed out that tax payers would be swamped and why. Pro simply says that taxes wouldn't necessarily have to increase, but since tax payers would burden the costs of this system and the prices are guaranteed to increase (see: previous arguments), then quite obviously we can expect a tax hike, which ultimately hurts the hard working middle class the most. This argument hasn't been negated; just cast aside.

5. Pro doesn't deny that the ER treats everyone. I've already acknowledged their follow-up bill and mentioned it's a more preferable and moral option.

6. Essentially I was saying that since doctors would be working for the government, sue-happy patients would be compelled and able to sue the government for a doctor's malpractice which would add yet another tax payer burden.

We're both out of characters here -- the rest will be addressed in the final round.

Debate Round No. 2


bitewhite forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited the final round, so there's really not much I can say. He also didn't have the character space to respond to my 7th, 8th and 9th points so I'll extend them. In short, I'll conclude this debate by providing a re-cap of the arguments I've made in negation of the resolution.


Health care is not a right, it's a privilege. It can't be a right because it requires other people to care for you, and forcing others to care for you is not only immoral and impractical but violates what can or cannot be considered a right in the first place. Like other industries, the health care industry is a service-based industry meaning health care providers may charge a fee for their care that people can either pay or not pay. By socializing the industry, my opponent has advocated that everyone get health care because the cost of funding for everyone (which I explained and proved would drastically increase) would become the responsibility of everyone in society. However, my opponent has not defended why this would be a good, moral or practical endeavor.

While Pro pointed out the reality that many people simply cannot afford care, I pointed out the reality that our country simply cannot afford to medically insure everyone. Moreover, our country i.e. tax payers should not be burdened with caring for everyone. We don't expect everyone to socialize costs for food or housing despite the increased costs in those industries, so why health care? Plus, we already have government programs like Medicaid and Medicare in addition to other social programs, and policies that make necessary treatment in the ER mandatory meaning everyone will be treated whether they can afford to pay or not.

Government bureaucracy tends to be inefficient and wasteful; there's no reason to assume the government can resolve the issues better than market competition can considering the government has consistently failed in the past. Plus, as I pointed out, if the government took care of everything than the government would be in a position even more-so than today to ban, limit or inhibit other personal freedoms like smoking (my opponent never addressed this). My opponent also never explained how divisive issues like abortion would be handled: does this "free" health care for all provide abortions? Is that fair to pro-life tax payers who are forced to fund this? These are important questions that were left unaddressed.

In a country that's short on doctors, Pro's policy could dissuade people from seeking medical jobs (if they're not earning as much money) or create long waits for treatment due to the influx of people seeking care. Not to mention we don't know how illegal aliens would be regarded under Pro's avocation, and Pro specifically said that even the lazy and irresponsible Americans who do nothing but mooch off the system without contributing should be given aid. This is blatantly unfair to the hard working middle class who will necessarily see increased taxes with less benefits (and maybe even a huge downfall in their standard of living or care).

Overall, Pro has not proven that health care is a right; that ALL Americans deserve "free" care; that this would be a resourceful or rewarding policy; or that our government has the legal or monetary ability to implement this policy let alone the moral implications this policy would have. On the contrary, the resolution has been successfully negated. I've proven that this idea is immoral, illegal, impractical and overall a bad idea.

Thanks, bitewhite.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Mirza 7 years ago
"Dan. velfærd"

Posted by TheAtheistAllegiance 7 years ago
Okay, that's good lol. I was getting a little worried.
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
I'm mostly playing devils' advocate lol I've debated both sides of this debate about 4 times each.
Posted by TheAtheistAllegiance 7 years ago
Lwerd, are you playing Devil's Advocate, or do you actually support the arguments you've put forth?
Posted by darkkermit 7 years ago
Your points are not bad. However, you are up against theLwerd. She is one of the best debaters on the website.
Posted by bitewhite 7 years ago
1st debate, srry if i appear like a complete newb
Posted by Sieben 7 years ago
I don't know how many people are going to want to join a debate just to counter a few incomplete arguments rife with 10x as many implicit assumptions...
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